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Category: Wasps

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Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s Premiership action

Harlequins’ sick list grows, Wasps’ Thomas Young looks to land of his father’s, Rob Baxter’s Exeter side pass ‘character test’ and Gloucester get one over BathJohn Kingston paused as he mulled over whether to put a precise figure on the list of unavail…

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Josh Bassett gets Wasps back to winning ways against Northampton

• Northampton 22-38 Wasps• Josh Bassett’s try gave Wasps a deserved winWasps, last season’s losing finalists, started the day closer to the bottom of the table than the top after four straight defeats, but as ever they were prepared to run from anywher…

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Dylan Hartley among three forwards cited on damaging weekend for England

• Joe Marler and Nathan Hughes will also face disciplinary panel• Incidents may cause disruption to Eddie Jones’ autumn plansEddie Jones’s plans for the autumn Tests are in danger of being severely disrupted after three of his strongest forwards were c…

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Nathan Hughes ignites Wasps’ return to form against self-destructing Quins

• Wasps 41-10 Harlequins• Christian Wade scores two tries while Joe Marler sees yellowWasps urgently needed something to brighten their season and finally there is light at the end of a depressingly dark tunnel. This five-try romp, their first win in s…

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Jacob Stockdale launches Ulster campaign and adds to Wasps’ early-season pain

• Ulster 19-9 Wasps• Stockdale and Stuart McCloskey score tries for much-improved hostsWasps have endured a tough start to the domestic season and the Champions’ Cup is not yet easing the pain. Belfast on a Friday night is never an easy place to travel…

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Elliot Daly warns injury-hit Wasps to watch old boy Charles Piutau

• ‘It would be nice if he was on our side,’ Daly says of New Zealand full-back• Wasps head to Ulster for Champions Cup opener after five-day turnaroundWhen Elliot Daly reveals he has been covering fly-half for Wasps, having not played there since his s…

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Jamie George stars as Saracens go top after trouncing under-par Wasps

• Saracens 38-19 Wasps
• England hooker scores hat-trick of tries

The England hooker Jamie George scored a hat-trick of tries as Saracens climbed to the summit of the Premiership with a 38-19 victory over Wasps at Allianz Park.

Owen Farrell was forced to withdraw from the bench shortly before kick-off due to a calf injury but the composure shown by Alex Lozowski meant the European champions were in good hands and his fly-half understudy finished with 18 points.

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Wasps seek winning touch after suffering Premiership runners-up curse

Last season’s finalists go to Saracens on Sunday having lost three of their five matches and their director of rugby, Dai Young, admits standards have slipped

Losing the Premiership final is becoming a curse. Like Exeter last season and Bath the year before Wasps have lost three of their first five Premiership matches and defeat at Saracens on Sunday would dump them in their worst run since 2014.

Wasps started with victories over two clubs who finished in the bottom three last season, Sale and Worcester, but then lost to Harlequins and Bath at home with a 14-point reverse away to the team who defeated them in the final in May, Exeter, sandwiched between.

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Semesa Rokoduguni try seals victory for Bath over dispirited Wasps

• Wasps 9-25 Bath
• Hosts fall to third consecutive Premiership defeat; Bath sit fifth in table

Wasps have been playing rugby union for 150 years and have known far gloomier predicaments than three consecutive Premiership losses on the bounce. As they slipped and stumbled to this latest defeat in the Coventry rain, even so, the celebratory mood of their anniversary weekend was hard to discern with the premature departure of their England No8 Nathan Hughes causing spirits to droop even further.

Related: Sam Underhill, Bath’s new No7, well-placed to solve old problem for England

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Exeter closing in on signing Saracens fly-half Alex Lozowski

• 24-year-old out of contract next summer and wanted by the Chiefs
• Lozowski behind Owen Farrell at Sarries and keen for first-team action

Exeter look set to win the race to sign the Saracens and England fly-half Alex Lozowski in a deal believed to be worth £350,000 a year. Lozowski is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with a move to his former club Wasps but the Observer understands the Chiefs are poised to land the 24-year-old for next season.

Related: Chris Wyles leads the way as Saracens sail past wretched Worcester

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Luke Charteris believes Bath road work can put Wasps in a jam

Veteran Wales forward says Bath have taken measures to address last season’s terrible away record but they must cut out the individual errors at the Ricoh

Luke Charteris is one of international rugby’s longest‑serving players but in a season when he turns 35, and at a time when playing careers are getting shorter because of the physical demands of the sport, retirement is far from the Wales second row’s thoughts.

Charteris was first capped in 2004, two years after Juan-Martín Hernández, Sergio Parisse and Gethin Jenkins and the same year as Rory Best, and has won 74 caps. Tall (he is 6ft 9in) and lithe, he looks pretty much now as he did when he made his first appearance in senior rugby, for Newport in 2002, and in the last year of his contract with Bath he is looking to secure an extension.

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Exeter’s Henry Slade displays true quality in victory over Wasps

• Exeter Chiefs 31-17 Wasps
• Exeter stand two points clear at top of Premiership

Anyone who assumed Exeter would inevitably slip back into the chasing pack this autumn is forgetting what made the Chiefs champions last May. Whether it be a grey Sunday in Devon or a blazing summer’s afternoon at Twickenham Rob Baxter’s squad pride themselves on being men for all seasons and here was another good example. Last season’s triumph, if anything, has given them extra impetus.

The Chiefs’ status as top dogs in the Premiership after four games is all the more praiseworthy considering how many senior players are currently on the sidelines. Even with half their first XV missing and their dazed young back-row forward Sam Simmonds departing prematurely on a stretcher, they had far too much vim and vigour for an off-colour Wasps side whose own lengthy injury list appears to be nibbling away at their confidence and composure.

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Danny Cipriani’s hopes of England recall ended by knee ligament tear

• Cipriani out for eight to 12 weeks with injury suffered against Harlequins
• Wasps playmaker at best fifth in Eddie Jones’s fly-half pecking order

 Danny Cipriani may be out of action until December after sustaining a medial knee ligament tear in Wasps’ Premiership defeat by Harlequins. He is not expected to resume playing for between eight and 12 weeks, ending the fly-half’s already remote hopes of a recall to England’s preliminary autumn training squad.

Related: Joe Marler reprimanded but not suspended over James Haskell fight

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Joe Marler reprimanded but not suspended over James Haskell fight

• Harlequins prop escapes censure for antics against Wasps at Ricoh Arena
• England and Lions team-mates had to be pulled apart

Joe Marler has been reprimanded for his spat with James Haskell during Harlequins’ victory against Wasps but the England prop is not facing a suspension.

Marler has been given a citing commissioner’s warning for his role in the incident – pulling at Haskell’s scrum cap and squirting his England and Lions team‑mate with water – in an acknowledgement that the 27-year-old was deserving of a yellow card at the time. Marler’s actions were considered to be contrary to good sportsmanship.

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Wasps call for crackdown after England team-mates Marler and Haskell fight

• James Haskell sent off for grabbing Marler by the throat
• Wasps’ Dai Young incensed by Joe Marler behaviour

Wasps have called for rugby’s authorities to take further action following Sunday’s angry flare-up between the Lions and England team-mates James Haskell and Joe Marler. Haskell was sent to the sin-bin for grabbing Marler by the throat with both hands but Wasps’ director of rugby, Dai Young, believes the sport needs to crack down on the players who spark such incidents.

Quins subsequently went on to win a niggly Premiership game 24-21, inflicting Wasps’ first defeat of the season, but Young’s sympathies lay with Haskell after Marler, following a prolonged tussle between the pair on the ground, apparently squirted water at his England colleague’s face. “If someone rips your hat off and squirts water in your face, what do you expect?” said Young.

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Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership’s opening weekend

Bath’s poor away form could be a thing of the past, Gloucester broke their habit of poor starts as they upset Exeter and London Irish returned in style

Todd Blackadder was in little doubt over where Bath needed to improve this season. Poor away form was not a problem limited to his side last season but there can be little doubting it ultimately cost them a place in the last four. Blackadder believes the issue was mental; that for no reason other than different surroundings his team did not play with the authority they did at The Rec in front of their own supporters. So in pre-season Blackadder took his squad on the road to Cardiff and London Irish to jolt them out of their comfort zone. Judging by their resilience at Welford Road it has worked a treat and, considering he can welcome Sam Underhill, Charlie Ewels and Dave Attwood back to bolster his pack, there is genuine reason for early-season optimism at Bath. Gerard Meagher

Match report: Leicester 23-27 Bath
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Dan Robson masterclass helps Wasps to helter-skelter win over Sale

• Wasps 50-35 Sale
• Scrum-half helps himself to four tries and tees up a fifth

As responses go, Dan Robson’s could hardly have been more emphatic. Snubbed by England this summer he helped himself to four tries – becoming the second scrum-half in Premiership history to do so – as Wasps outclassed Sale seven tries to five.

Robson was taken off with almost half an hour remaining having scored a first-half hat-trick, teed up Christian Wade and added another of his own after the break. After his departure, two quickfire Sale tries made life uncomfortable for the home side until a late flurry ensured last season’s runners-up opened the new campaign with a half-century. It will not be their last before the season is out.

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Rob Baxter and Exeter’s merry men aim to follow Clough path to European glory

After their thrilling extra-time win against Wasps to win Premiership title, the Chiefs seek to follow the Nottingham Forest side of the late 70s

So much for a mellow bank holiday weekend beside the river Exe. Never before has the West Country played host to a Monday afternoon street parade to salute England’s league champions and the warm and fuzzy feeling from Newlyn to Newton Abbot is equally unprecedented. Even for those locals still crawling back from “the Smoke” or struggling to raise heads off pillows, the thrill will take a lifetime to fade.

Three contrasting post-match snapshots showed what it all meant. Rob Baxter’s genuine fly-in-the-eye emotion on the pitch and the receiving line of supporters waiting to shake the hand of the chairman, Tony Rowe, both summed up the storybook nature of the Chiefs’ crowning achievement but the most telling image was the picture of the entire squad blinking in the Sunday morning light outside Gareth Steenson’s bar-cum-garage, all cheerfully clad as Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

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Exeter Chiefs champions after epic win over Wasps completes fairytale rise

• Wasps 20-23 Exeter (aet; score at 80min 20-20)
• Exeter’s Gareth Steenson stays cool after Wasps fumble their way to defeat

A final between the two most prolific teams in the Premiership was decided by a kick rather than a try. Gareth Steenson’s penalty three minutes from the end of extra time after Wasps, who by then had lost both their tight-head props to injury, had infringed at a scrum for the seventh time, settled a full-blooded but scrappy encounter that saw Exeter crowned champions seven years and one day after they won promotion to the Premiership.

Related: Wasps 20-23 Exeter – Chiefs crowned Premiership champions – as it happened

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Exeter Chiefs champions after epic win over Wasps completes fairytale rise

• Wasps 20-23 Exeter (aet; score at 80min 20-20)
• Exeter’s Gareth Steenson stays cool after Wasps fumble their way to defeat

A final between the two most prolific teams in the Premiership was decided by a kick rather than a try. Gareth Steenson’s penalty three minutes from the end of extra time after Wasps, who by then had lost both their tight-head props to injury, had infringed at a scrum for the seventh time, settled a full-blooded but scrappy encounter that saw Exeter crowned champions seven years and one day after they won promotion to the Premiership.

Related: Wasps 20-23 Exeter – Chiefs crowned Premiership champions – as it happened

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