European Champions Cup Pool 1Venue: Stade Marcel-Deflandre Date: Sunday, 10 December Kick-off: 13:00 GMTCoverage: Commentary on local radio Wasps second row Joe Launchbury returns to captain his side in their Champions Cup tie against La Rochelle on Sunday.Launchbury missed last weekend’s bonus-point victory over Leicester and is the only change made by Dai Young.Kearnan Myall is in line to make his 100th appearance from the bench and is joined in the replacements by Kyle Eastmond and Tom Cruse.
Wasps travel to Top 14 leaders La Rochelle in the first-ever match between the two sides.The English side are currently second in their pool and trail their opponents by five points, having lost to Ulster and claimed a bonus-point win over Harlequins.Centre Eastmond, who was sidelined by return-to-play-protocols and a hamstring strain, is back in the match day squad while hooker Cruse could play for the first time since breaking his thumb in the second round against Ulster.”We’re going out to try to win,” said Wasps director of rugby Dai Green. “If we think we can defend and hit them on the counter-attack we’ll lose, so we’ve got to take the game to them.”La Rochelle are playing really well at this moment in time. You don’t sit at the top of the French table for nothing. They’ve got quality players right across the board.”It’s a massive challenge for us but one we’re all really looking forward to. Their size, strength and power is there for everyone to see, so we’re going to have to combat and match that.”La Rochelle, who are eight points clear of Toulon in the French league, are unbeaten in this season’s Champions Cup having seen off both Ulster and Harlequins.They have named Brock James at fly-half with Ryan Lamb on the bench and also announced the arrival of New Zealand scrum-half Tawera Kerr Barlow at the club on Friday.The 27-year-old played in the Four Nations and the autumn internationals for the All Blacks, and he will watch Sunday’s match against Wasps from the stands before starting training next week. CHAMPIONS CUP POOL 1TeamPlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstBonus PtsPointsLa Rochelle22007544210Wasps2101502915Ulster2101365004Harlequins2002377511La Rochelle: Murimurivalu; Sinzelle, Doumayrou, Aguillon, Rattez; James, Bales; Priso, Bourgarit, Atonio, Eaton, Jolmes, Kieft, Veivuke, Vito.Replacements: Maurouard, Forbes, Boughanmi, Sazy, Gourdon, Goillot, Lamb, Ranger.Wasps: Le Roux; Wade, De Jongh, Gopperth, Daly; Cipriani, Robson; McIntyre, Johnson, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury, Gaskell, Haskell, Young, Carr Replacements: Cruse, Harris, Moore, Myall, Willis, Simpson, Eastmond, Lovobalavu.Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)