Wasps will field two of England's most potent wingers for the first time today when Paul Sackey returns to the starting line-up following a long-term leg injury for the clash with Worcester. Sackey, who missed out on the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa this summer, replaces their Samoan speedster David Lemi, who is out for six weeks with a broken wrist. He will join Tom Varndell, who has scored four tries in the opening brace of wins for Wasps, in the London club's back three for the first time since the Dubai Rugby Sevens player's summer switch from Leicester.
"To have Paul back in the mix is great news for us," said Tony Hanks, the Wasps manager. "We know we have a tough challenge facing Worcester. They did the double on us last season, and they have shown great strength in their opening rounds of games." Worcester's director of rugby, Mike Ruddock, admitted his side have their work cut out against their in-form hosts. He said: "It will be a big ask for us, and you can see why they have started so well, even though they are without people like Simon Shaw after the Lions tour."
The task facing Leeds, who host title hopefuls London Irish at Headingley, has been made even greater by the loss of their captain Marco Wentzel to an elbow injury. Peter Hewat replaces the injured full-back Delon Armitage for Irish. Northampton inflicted more woe on Gloucester yesterday. The Cherry and Whites were still feeling the effects of their hammering by London Irish a week previously, and went down to a 27-14 loss to Saints at Kingsholm. The South African revolution at Saracens continued as Derick Hougaard kicked them to a 22-9 win over their London rivals Harlequins.