Wasps vs Worcester - Primer and Preview
Wasps face off against Worcester in the season opener at Sixways, finishing in 11th last season the Warriors brought in former Edinburgh Director of Rugby Alan Solomons at the beginning of this calendar year and made some good additions over the summer in the form of Duncan Weir from Solomons former club Edinburgh and Jono Lance from the Waratahs. However, the losses of David Denton to Leicester and Donncha O’Callaghan to retirement could be big blows in the pack.
Worcester have only won twice on the opening weekend of the Premiership Rugby season, both at home (vs Sale 2011 and vs Northampton 2015) and should be viewed as the underdogs coming into this one. They have only won one of their last seven home games against Wasps and haven’t beaten their opponents since March 2013.
Wasps come into the season full of hope, they are without two of their three marquee signings from the Southern Hemisphere as Lima Sopoaga and Brad Shields are yet to join us with the squad after their Super Rugby exploits. That means that young ex-Bristol fly half Billy Searle will start in the 10 jersey and Wasps fans will be excited to see how their talented new ten goes in his first competitive outing in the black and gold.
This is a game that Wasps should be targeting for a win and a good performance to start the season. If the pack can play as well as they did in the friendly against Ulster last Friday night it will offer a good platform for Searle and his backs to cause havoc. Nathan Hughes look rejuvenated and will want to make a statement in the first game back to make sure he cements his England credentials early on.
Head to Head - Wade vs Adams
This game sees two of the league’s best finishers go head-to-head. Wasps’ winger Christian Wade and Worcester’s Welsh flyer Josh Adams should be involved in a tantalising battle once again for the top try scorer award after they both got 13 in the last campaign. Wade likes to play at Sixways scoring six tries in a single game there in 2016.
Men in the Middle
Referee: Karl Dickson (7th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan & Philip Watters.
TMO: Stuart Terheege.
Citing Officer: Chris Catling.
- Alex says – Wasps by 10 points – Worcester 1 Try Bonus Point, Wasps 1 Try Bonus Point.
- Rugby Vision – Worcester 26.6%/73.4% Wasps – Wasps by 8 points. Visit www.rugbyvision.com for more info!
- Crashball Rugby - Wasps by 5 - Worcester to come out firing while Wasps adapt to life without Danny Cipriani, the injured Jimmy Gopperth and the recently arrived, not yet game ready, Lima Sopoaga.
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