Dai Young signs contract extension with Wasps

Date: 4 Jan 2018

Wasps are delighted to announce that director of rugby Dai Young has signed a long-term extension to his contract.

Young joined the club ahead of the 2011/12 season, and has since overseen a period of tremendous progress both on and off the field.

This included managing the playing squad and backroom team’s transition from Acton and Adams Park to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, where Wasps are now firmly established as part of the Warwickshire rugby landscape.

Concurrently, the black-and-golds have climbed the Aviva Premiership table, progressing year-on-year from eleventh to the top-place finish and eventual runners-up spot achieved last May. In addition, Wasps have qualified for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals in each of the last three seasons.

At the heart of this progress is the outstanding group of English talent – including the likes of club captain Joe Launchbury and British & Irish Lion Elliot Daly. This group has blossomed under Young’s leadership alongside international stars like George Smith, Kurtley Beale and Willie Le Roux, who the rugby director attracted to the club.

Chief Executive Nick Eastwood said: 

“This is a massively important announcement regarding the long-term future of the club. Dai is one of world rugby’s most respected figures and I am delighted that he will be staying with us. 

“Dai is at the centre of everything that is happening at Wasps, he is integral to Wasps’ current performance level and future development. You never get anything less than 100 per cent commitment and honesty from him, and he holds a tremendous amount of respect among the players, back-room staff and fans. 

“We have improved each season since he took over. He has been an absolute rock for us, and with the club now in a strong position, I believe we will see the squad he has built continue to flourish in the coming years.”

Dai Young commented: 

“I have really enjoyed my time at Wasps and am excited to be staying at the club. I have huge belief in this squad. A number of players have shown tremendous loyalty to me and to the club and I am pleased to return the faith they have shown in us. 

“The challenges we faced when I took over six years ago have been well documented, and it is thanks to the commitment shown by staff, players as well as the vision and support from Derek Richardson, that we have made such a success of our move to the Ricoh.

“After our move to Coventry, it feels like we have started again and taken on a fresh, really exciting challenge. The next step for us is to be consistently involved at the top end of the Premiership table and in the European Champions Cup knock-out stages. 

“I am grateful to the many Wasps’ supporters who followed us and to the local community who welcomed us so well. We have now put down roots in Coventry and Warwickshire and we are ready to start the new era. 

“My focus now will be on keeping things fresh to ensure we keep moving the club forwards. I am confident of achieving that with the staff we have in place and the new additions coming in next season and am looking forward to the challenge.”

Young has been connected in the media with the Wales national coach role, which becomes vacant following the 2019 World Cup. He added:

“As a proud Welshman, I am obviously humbled by being talked about as a possible future national coach. However, here at Wasps, we have made really good progress over the past few years and there is still so much to come.

“I am excited by the potential this squad has and I want to be here to help them fulfill it. We were only seconds away from lifting the trophy last season and I want to play my part in going that final step and taking this squad as far as I know it can. Our fans and everyone at the club deserve success and I want to be here to help us achieve it.”