Kurtley Beale will miss out on a Wasps swansong after the hamstring injury he suffered in last weekend’s victory over Leicester Tigers ruled him out of Saturday’s Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs, with the table-toppers making three changes for the Twickenham encounter.
With Beale ruled out ahead of his return to Australia to re-join the New South Wales Waratahs, South Africa international Willie le Roux moves to full-back to allow Josh Bassett to start on the wing, while Dan Robson is preferred at scrum-half to Joe Simpson, who takes a place among the replacements.
The only other change from the 21-20 semi-final victory over the Tigers comes in the front-row, where Ashley Johnson makes way for the returning Tommy Taylor.
The Wasps’ director of rugby, Dai Young, will lead the club into their first Premiership final for nine years, but that won’t be enough to satisfy the Welshman’s appetite for success as he has issued a rallying call to his squad to go one step further and reclaim the Premiership trophy, something they have not done since 2008.
“The final is new territory for this group of players, but really exciting territory and something our players and coaches can’t wait to be involved in,” Young said. “It’s a big day for the whole squad, who deserve to be in the final after the consistency they’ve shown to finish top of the table, and they have a fantastic opportunity ahead of them. It is also just reward for the hard work of every member of the support staff and off-field team this season.
“We are delighted that everyone associated with the club, including our loyal Wasps supporters, old and new, get to enjoy this showpiece occasion at Twickenham.
“As much as we are going to enjoy it, we want more than that. We are not there to make up the numbers, we are there to give absolutely everything we have to try to win the trophy. It is just another 80 minutes of rugby in which we are determined to do…