Fixtures - Top Bar

Dai Young says Wasps’ journey is not yet over after Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards win

Dai Young insists the journey Wasps are on is not over yet, after he claimed the prestigious Ricoh Director of Rugby of the Season prize at the Aviva Premiership Rugby awards on Wednesday.

Coventry outfit Wasps were the big winners of the night, with Christian Wade earning the Top Try Scorer billing and Jimmy Gopperth scooping a hat-trick of awards – including the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season.

Young, 49, has led Wasps since 2011 and has seen the club through the most challenging of periods – narrowly avoiding relegation in the 2011-12 season while the club was in financial turmoil.

And as things have turned around off the pitch, Young has transformed Wasps into the powerhouses Aviva Premiership Rugby fans know today, with the side finishing top of the league standings for the first time in 20 years this season.

“I’ve got to be honest, if this was an individual award I would be pretty embarrassed given all that the other directors of rugby have done – particularly Mark McCall at Saracens,” said Young.

“But we know it’s not an individual award. The directors of rugby are the first to say that this is an award that’s about what everyone at the club has achieved.

“We’ve been on a bit of a journey of course, but while everyone has worked their socks off we’re not at the end of the journey just yet. This is a reward for all the hard work everyone has put in.

“Finishing top of the pile is a great achievement, but unfortunately you don’t get anything for that – we set out to be in the top six and then the top four, and to finish top is something that the group hadn’t done before.

“We’re really proud of our history and tradition, but we want to make our own history and get people talking about the players we’ve got now rather than the sides that came before us.”

Young remains a direct coach, and admits he still likes to get his hands dirty during scrum practice – even if the body is no longer as willing as it used to be.

He joked: “You’ve got to show them who’s boss on occasion! But I’m getting a bit older now so where I used to be good for ten minutes, it’s now five minutes or less.

“They’re a great bunch of boys I’ve got, and I love to get out there with them. That’s where I want to be and what I enjoy, but there’s a lot of people at the club who deserve credit too.”

Wasps now have a home semi-final ahead of them this weekend, with old rivals Leicester Tigers in town to try and overcome Young’s charges – and over 30,000 fans at a packed-out Ricoh Arena.

Tigers and Wasps remain two behemoths of the English game, but despite both sides enjoying mixed fortunes in recent seasons, Young believes Saturday’s semi-final clash will be a battle for the ages.

“We’ve now hopefully got two massive games in front of us,” he said. “We can only look at one game at a time, and certainly the Tigers will want to come and spoil the party on Saturday.

“We’re know they’re capable of it, but it’s up to us to get our best game prepared. Wasps and Leicester have had a huge rivalry over the years, and you have to applaud their consistency at this level.

“We’ve fallen away a bit in recent years compared to them, but we’re getting back there now, and we’ve got such a fantastic welcome having moved to the Coventry area.

“Now we are their local rivals as well, and we’ve really got a sense of that. It’s going to be a great occasion and we know that if we don’t play to the best of our abilities, we’ll lose as they’re a quality team.”

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

Latest News

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: The best of the reaction to Exeter Chiefs’ triumph

Gareth Steenson’s extra-time penalty sent Exeter Chiefs fans into ecstasy at Twickenham on Saturday, as the West Country outfit claimed…

Match Reaction: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Years of hard-work have paid off for Exeter Chiefs according to head coach Rob Baxter, after the Devon side lifted…

AUDIO: Yeandle, Haskell and Townsend reflect on the Aviva Premiership final

Russell Hargreaves looks back on a dramatic and extended Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham, before speaking to victorious Exeter Chiefs…

Match Report: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Seven years after kicking Exeter Chiefs into Aviva Premiership Rugby, skipper Gareth Steenson proved once again that ice runs through…

HITZ learning academy gear up for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Around 30 young people from across the country will be at this afternoon’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham to…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: Review of the finalists’ most recent head-to-heads

Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final sees table-toppers Wasps face off against second-placed Exeter Chiefs, in what promises to be a…

Six things to look out for in this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

After nearly nine months of intense competition, the fate of the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy comes down to 80 minutes…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Courtney Lawes revealed that he overcame illness to put in another man-of-the-match performance in Northampton Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Northampton Saints pulled off a stunning comeback victory to upset Stade Francais and secure European Champions Cup rugby for next…

Thomas Waldrom out to finish the job with Exeter Chiefs

Thomas Waldrom is ready to put the seal on a season of hard graft by helping Exeter Chiefs to lift…

Thomas Waldrom

Key moments of the season for our Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists

After two frantically-contested semi-finals, excitement is building for what will surely be a thrilling Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Wasps…

Exeter Chiefs side to face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Final

It was seven years today that Exeter Chiefs finally arrived at English rugby’s top table. On a wet and wild…

Olly Woodburn

Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps’ side for the Aviva Premiership Final against Exeter Chiefs, at Twickenham…

Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux

Sean Maitland signs contract extension with Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that Scotland international Sean Maitland has signed a contract extension with the Club. Capped 28…

Sean Maitland

Ashley Johnson ready for daunting Twickenham final challenge

Wasps might have finished the Aviva Premiership Rugby season top of the table but hooker Ashley Johnson believes they will…

Netani Talei retires from rugby

Harlequins back-row Netani Talei has today (Thursday 25th May) announced that he will retire from the game following medical advice.…

Netani Talei

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final – safety of supporters

The safety of our supporters is of upmost importance to Premiership Rugby. As a result, we have been working for…

Win a Citizen Watch and a ball signed by this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby champions

Celebrating being the Official Timekeeper of Premiership Rugby, Citizen are offering you the chance to win a Citizen Watch up…