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Wasps name team for Saints clash

26 September 2003

London Wasps Director of Rugby, Warren Gatland, has named his side to play the Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens this Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

Gatland has made a number of changes from the side that beat the Leeds Tykes last weekend. Amongst the backline, Peter Richards replaces Rob Howley at scrumhalf and Ayoola Erinle comes in for Mark Denney at centre.

Injuries to the front row have created a shuffle. Will Green will miss the game due to a shoulder injury. Craig Dowd will move from his usual position of loosehead to tighthead prop. Dowd will also captain the side. Tim Payne comes in at loosehead with Sean Phillips on the bench. Phil Greening picked up a rib injury against Leeds and will miss this game. Trevor Leota will therefore start at hooker with Jonny Barrett on the bench.

Martin Purdy will replace Richard Birkett at lock. Birkett has a slight knee injury and was advised to not to play.

The injuries to Green, Birkett and Greening are not serious and will not keep them out of action for long.

Amongst the backrow, Paul Volley moves from his usual position of No.7 and will start at No.6 with Jonny O'Connor retaining his place at No.7.

O'Connor said, "I've never had the opportunity to play against Northampton and, therefore, can't wait to get onto the field. I've heard from the boys that Franklin's Gardens is a great place to play rugby but also very tough. I expect it to be a battle".

England U21 international, John Hart, will play at No.8. James Haskell, who is the youngest Wasps player to start in the Zurich Premiership, is on the bench.

Gatland added, "Winning at Northampton is no easy task and this season will be no exception. I felt our defeat last season, at Franklin's Gardens, was the only game where Wasps were well and truly beaten. We have yet to click into full gear and if we are going to beat Saints we must up the tempo for this game.

"Saints are hungry for a win, we intend to keep them starved."

The team is�

15 Tom Voyce
14 Shane Roiser
13 Fraser Waters
12 Ayoola Erinle
11 John Rudd
10 Mark Van Gisbergen
9 Peter Richards

1 Tim Payne
2 Trevor Leota
3 Craig Dowd (Capt)
4 Simon Shaw
5 Martin Purdy
6 Paul Volley
7 Jonny O'Connor
8 John Hart

16 Rob Howley
17 Jonny Barrett
18 Mark Denney
19 James Haskell
20 George Skivington
21 Ian Clarke
22 Sean Phillips