Wasps are set to welcome back 222 England caps to their starting line-up as they face a difficult test at Loughborough. Following a strong performance against Gloucester-Hartpury, they’ll look to pick up back-to-back wins for the third time this season. They face a Loughborough Lightning side who suffered only their first defeat of the season against Saracens last weekend.
Wasps have made four changes from the side that won 26-10 against Gloucester-Hartpury last week. Nolli Waterman, boasting 82 England caps, returns to the side at full back, as Katie Mason moves to the wing.
Garnet Mackinder replaces Kate Alder at outside centre to partner Louise Dodd. The final change in the backline welcomes Wasps’ newest international, Claudia Macdonald, back at scrum half.
With just one change in the forward pack, Rocky Clark makes her first start of the season in black and gold, bringing a wealth of experience, as she partners Kate Hallett who picked up two tries last weekend, and Hannah West who will earn her 50th appearance for Wasps this weekend.
Loughborough Lightning have had an electric start to the season, and were the only unbeaten side in the league until last week when Saracens halted their run with a convincing 29-0 victory. They are, by far the leading points scorers in the league with 354 points and will be considered favourites for this weekends clash.
Wasps will be looking to make amends from earlier in the season where Loughborough ran out 40-20 victors at Vallis Way. Since then Wasps have won five of their seven fixtures, only falling short against Saracens & Harlequins. With the international period over, Wasps will now look to build momentum as the seasons races towards the play-offs in April.
Speaking ahead of the fixture, Director of Rugby Giselle Mather said;
“We are really looking forward to challenging ourselves against Loughborough Lightning this Saturday. They have had a fantastic first half of the season and it is always exciting as an athlete to compete against a side above you. It demands your very best and exciting things can happen when that kind of motivation is in front of you. It is what elite athletes thrive on and I am very much looking forward to seeing how our athletes respond to that challenge on Saturday.”
Our fixture this weekend with be covered live on the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s website, on Facebook and YouTube. Kick-off will be at 12:00.