Fixtures - Top Bar

Dai Young: Wasps face pressure to perform in Champions Cup

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Last season’s European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finalists Wasps are under significantly more pressure to perform in this season’s competition than they were 12 months ago, according to director of rugby Dai Young.

Wasps had an incredible tournament last year, topping a pool which included reigning champions Toulon, Bath Rugby and Leinster, with four wins and two defeats.

The Coventry-based club beat Exeter Chiefs by a single point in their quarter-finals before succumbing to eventual winners Saracens at the semi-final stage.

It was a run that surpassed all pre-season expectations for Wasps and Young admits that the pressure is on to repeat their success again this time around.

“There’s a lot more pressure on us this season compared to last season,” he explained.

“There are no easy games, I think every director of rugby or player will tell you that, but perceptions are that this group is easier for us than last season.

“Nobody gave us a chance last year so there was no pressure on us, but if you want to achieve things this is the type of pressure you’ve got to deal with.

“There’s a lot of feel-good factor in the squad at the minute but it’s how you perform on the day and we’re in a tough group.”

Wasps have started the Premiership season in electric form with five wins from their opening five games and three try bonus points.

When they begin their European voyage they’ll be looking for similarly strong performances against their group opponents of Pro12 champions Connacht, Toulouse and Italian side Zebre.

And Young admits after working so hard last year to qualify for the tournament with a third-placed finish in the Premiership, he knows the squad are determined to enjoy themselves.

“Any sporting organisation wants to be in the best competition, at the top table of European sport, and that’s the Champions Cup,” he added.

“For us it’s a real slog every year, 22 games and a ten month competition, to quality for the Champions Cup and once you’ve done that you want to enjoy it.

“The only way to do that is to really compete and do yourself proud in that competition.

“From our point of view it’s something the players and fans really look forward to, it gives you a yard stick of where you are in the game.

“It’s different from every game week in week out playing English rivals; to be playing teams from elsewhere it all adds up to a really memorable competition and one that everyone wants to be a part of.”

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) is the organiser of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition. Follow all the excitement of another thrilling season of European action at www.epcrugby.com

Latest News

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps maintained the pressure on Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens with success over Worcester Warriors – a victory Dai Young…

Rob Miller deputised in sterling fashion (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons side are evolving according to the director of rugby, after he saw his side run in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Newcastle Falcons ran in six tries in a thriller of a game at Kingston Park with Juan Pablo Socino starring…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps moved to within one point of the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit but missed out on a bonus point in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library