Dai Young previews Saturday's semi final against Saracens

Date: 16 May 2018


As Wasps approach a third Aviva Premiership semi-final in as many years, Dai Young spoke to the national and regional press to provide his thoughts on Saturday’s Allianz Park clash with Saracens.

Fitness Update:

“From the guys who were involved against Newcastle, unfortunately we've lost Tommy Taylor, while James Haskell is still struggling a little bit with his foot, but he's still got a couple of days to come through that.

“Coming back, we can add Nathan Hughes who is in full training and James Gaskell. We were always pretty confident Nathan would be fit for this game - he trained with the team last week and we've kept him a week longer doing more conditioning than rugby so he’s in pretty good nick at the minute which is great.”

Approaching Saturday:

"These aren't the type of games where you sit back and hope you don't lose, these are the type of games you've got to go and win.

"You may have to take one or two risks, but you don't want to take too many and be stupid about it. 

"But this is a game we have to go and win. If we sit back and hope we don't lose, that's exactly what we will get - we will be on the wrong end of the result."

Saracens:

"They don't achieve what they've have in the past few years without being able to play in different ways.

"The last season or two they've expanded their game and I think they're playing a far wider game and far more expansively.

"But that kick, chase and pressure is always out there, and if they lose momentum or the game is going away from them, they will always revert back to looking for penalties from their scrum, driving line outs, kick chase and trying to force you into mistakes and turnovers.”

Key battles:

"I am confident we can go out there and score points against their legendary defence. Their defence is awesome, we all know that, but I am confident we can go there and score.

"We will obviously have a challenge with their power up front, and will have to stop their ball carriers.

“In the two games we've played them so far this season that's something we haven't been able to do. They're a real team that thrive on momentum so it's up to us to win that gain line battle in attack and defence.

“To do that, we need to get around the corner quicker. We need to be set quicker so we can go to meet them, close their space down and stop their momentum, make dominant tackles and slow their ball down.”

A full 80-minute performance:

"Our weakest period of the game is their strongest. If you look at Sarries, they grind you down, and come strong in the last 20 minutes.

"We're going to have to play for 80 minutes. The game is not won until it's won. We've come unstuck a couple of times this season, and a couple of other times we've scored with five minutes to go to stop the opposition coming within a score.

"That 80-minute performance has eluded us, certainly since Christmas. That's certainly something the players recognise, we've worked on and I genuinely think is a mind-set thing.”