Young previews the 2014/15 season
Dai Young looks ahead to the new season and says that top six is the priority for his side.
Last season ended in dramatic fashion, with victory over French powerhouse Stade Francais, in a two-legged play-off, earning Wasps a place in the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup, despite finishing seventh in the Aviva Premiership. With the dust now fully settled on last season, it is clear that Dai Young wants a more convincing Premiership finish from his side this campaign.
"It was great to qualify for the European Rugby Champions Cup - obviously we've had a number of seasons out of the top European competition and everybody wants to play at the top level. Luck was on our side in that the competition's format has changed, which allowed us to qualify, but I thought that in the two games against Stade Francais we thoroughly deserved it. We're really looking forward to playing in Europe but, as always, the bread and butter is the Premiership.”
“We didn't achieve what we wanted to last season, and that's being totally frank and honest about it. We wanted to be in the top six and we missed out on that. We were lucky that the framework of the new competition allowed us an opportunity to get there and the boys really played outstandingly well and set a real standard and deserve to be playing in Europe next season. For us as a Club, being in the top competition is something we always wanted to achieve, so there's a bit of pressure on us this season to make sure we are doing it again next year.”
“The aim, once you've been in Europe, is to stay in Europe - we came seventh last season, which was a step up from eighth the season before. You always want to keep moving forward, so it would be wrong of me to say anything different than we're looking to get into the top six."
Recruitment has been a key focus ahead of the new season, with Young bringing in a number of high profile names to help bolster the squad, who will have to compete on two hugely competitive fronts this season.
"I don't want to single out any of our new signings as ones to watch, but it's been a challenge for us with all the changes in the squad. We've had 13 players leaving and 12 players coming in, so it's important that we gel very quickly. That’s the major challenge for us to start off with, gelling everybody. We believe we have a far better squad this season than where we were last season. I think the end of season pretty much masked the season for us and has given us a little bit of a false dawn, yes we were happy with the end of the season, but in reflecting on the season as a whole it was a pretty average for us so we are determined to be a lot better this season.”