By Ali Stokes
Wasps director of rugby, Dai Young, has revealed that his side is likely to be without All Black fly-half Lima Sopoaga this weekend due to injury.
Sopoaga picked up a neck complaint during his side's victory over Newcastle Falcons last weekend and has been given a 30% chance of featuring during the sixth round of the season this Saturday.
When breaking the news that he would be without his star standoff, Young said: "I think it's 70% unlikely for him to play, to be honest with you.
"He picked it up just tackling, he hasn't done anything, it's not structurally [damaged] needing an operation or whatever.
"It was stiff after the game but a number of players are like that. We expected it to get better. He trained a little bit on Tuesday so we thought we were out of the woods, then he comes in on Wednesday and it was worse and couldn't really train today.
"So we're not expecting it to be right tomorrow and obviously if a player's not 100% he wouldn't play anyway."
Wasps are set to look towards former Bristol fly-half Billy Searle to fill the number ten jersey this weekend, another player to have arrived in Coventry over the summer.
The 22-year-old started the first two games of the season for Wasps, with Jimmy Gopperth ruled out for the majority of the 2018/19 campaign with knee ligament damage and Sopoaga's delayed arrival following the culmination of the 2018 Super Rugby campaign.
Searle has not played since his start during round two, when Wasps hosted 2017 champions Exeter Chiefs, withdrawing from the field in the 55th minute preceding Sopoaga's Wasps debut.
Commenting on Searle's early season form prior to Sopoaga's arrival and subsequent 80-minute performances during rounds 3-5, Young said: "From our point of view, we've got total confidence in Billy. We genuinely believe that moving forward Billy's going to play a lot of rugby for us, it's as simple as that really.
"We've been really pleased. I thought he played very well in the second game against Exeter, played well and lead the line really well. He's really confident in training so if he plays, it's not really an issue for us; well hopefully not anyway."
Young continued: "He's a young man and we think he has two excellent experienced players in Jimmy [Gopperth] and Lima to learn off.
We always thought we covered that avenue [depth at fly-half], when you've got Lima, and you've got Jimmy and you've got Billy."
Wasps will host Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this weekend, when Academy product Danny Cipriani, who earned 186 appearances for Wasps across two spells with the club, will face his former side for the first time since trading yellow for red over the summer.