Wasps travel to face local rivals and fellow play-off contenders Harlequins in a highly anticipated clash. Off the back of two strong results, Wasps will be hoping carry momentum into this important fixture, which is expected to draw a large crowd at the Twickenham Stoop.
Wasps sit just two points behind Harlequins in the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s table in 4th position, knowing a victory would propel them above the hosts. It will be a difficult task for the visitors as they are yet to beat Harlequins in the new Tyrrell’s Premier 15s, despite meeting four times last season, including twice in the play-offs. The game will be the third double header in as many weeks for the black and gold, following their matches at the Ricoh Arena against Richmond and against Darlington Mowden Park Sharks last weekend.
Wasps have made three changes to the starting line-up that dominated at Darlington Mowden Park last weekend. In the backline, Amy Wilson Hardy returns to the wing after recovering from an illness that kept her out last week. Nora Baltruweit re-joins the squad from a victorious international period with Germany, to partner Emily Maisey (Sponsored by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) in the second row.
Experienced prop Claire Purdy (Sponsored by JHA Recruitment) returns to the starting line-up, as Hannah West, who was announced this week as part of the National Academy Squad, moves to hooker. Liz Crake, who is also part of the National Academy Squad, is one to watch having scored five tries in her last two appearances, and starts in the backrow.
Wasps have picked up five wins so far this season, despite having only played one fixture at their regular home at Twyford Avenue. Wasps have been in fantastic form will ball in hand lately, with 11 tries in their previous two games.
Wasps have so far struggled against tougher opposition, with their two losses coming against an unbeaten Loughborough side and reigning champions Saracens. The game against Harlequins will be the latest test for the Wasps side, who will want to prove they have what it takes to content with the best sides in the country.
Harlequins had a slow start to the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s season, picking up just one win from their opening three fixtures. However, they have since gone unbeaten in all four of their previous games. This includes an impressive win over Saracens two weeks ago in front of a large crowd at The Stoop. The fixture on Sunday will be the first time the sides have met since the play-off defeat for Wasps back in April.