TOP BAR - Fixtures

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

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s live on BT Sport with highlights on Channel 5

Channel 5’s landmark coverage of domestic rugby begins in earnest this week, with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s finally returning…

Saracens name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Whiteley will skipper a youthful Saracens side in this weekend’s Singha 7s tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, after the Men…

Tom Whiteley

Will Homer to captain Bath Rugby at the Singha 7s

Will Homer will captain Bath Rugby at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s this weekend at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. The scrum-half,…

Will Homer

Saints squad announced for Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series 

The Northampton Saints squad has been announced for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, which is being played in…

Jamie Elliott

Harlequins announce squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Henry Cheeseman will captain the 12-man squad against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in Pool B of the Singha 7s.…

Henry Cheeseman

Wasps name squad for 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s

Wasps have today named their squad for the 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s, which will be hosted at Franklin’s Gardens…

Dan Robson

London Irish name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

London Irish have named their side for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, which will be held at Northampton Saints’…

Rory BRand

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Following the conclusion of the Premiership Rugby Singha 7s series this weekend, Harlequins travel to Herzogenaurach to continue their pre-season…

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Chiefs sign van der Sluys

Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their squad ahead of the new 2017/18 season with the acquisition of powerful South African lock…

Wilhelm van der Sluys

Sharks Announce Exciting Squad For Singha 7s

Sale Sharks can announce an exciting squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Singha 7's this weekend at Franklin's…

Paolo Odogwu

Leicester Tigers Singha Premiership Rugby 7s team announcement

Leicester Tigers have named their squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s. Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons and Wasps on…

Alex Glashan

Will Kaye set for birthday to remember with Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers’ new link-up with Loughborough University will provide youngster Will Kaye with an unforgettable birthday present. The Loughborough student…

Cameron Cowell captains Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s

England 7s international Cameron Cowell will captain Newcastle Falcons in this week's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.…

Cameron Cowell

Stelling to lead Warriors at Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens

Max Stelling will lead Warriors in the new-look Singha Premiership Sevens this weekend at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. Stelling, who…

Max Stelling

Exeter Chiefs name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Ricky Pellow says Exeter Chiefs are relishing the chance to kick-off the new 2017/18 season with a big showing at…

Max Bodilly

Sale Sharks: The Next Generation

Sale Sharks can announce the first group of Junior Academy players who have been offered a five-year contract, plus a…

Sale Sharks

Gloucester Rugby confirm squad for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

The 12-man Gloucester Rugby squad for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s action has been named, with an exciting young…

Ollie Thorley will feature for the Cherry & Whites

Worcester Warriors get set for this weekend’s Singha 7s with Gordon Ross in charge

Worcester Warriors are looking to their experienced 7s players to make an impact in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s tournament…

Gordon Ross

Adam Radwan ready to fly for Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s action

Having lit up last season’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, Newcastle Falcons flyer Adam Radwan is determined to do the same…

Adam Radwan