As Wasps prepare for their penultimate game of the regular Aviva Premiership season, Thomas Young says the squad are starting to rediscover their confidence.
Since they were knocked out of the European Champions Cup at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Wasps have returned to the Aviva Premiership with added vigour, boosted by their late comeback to defeat Northampton Saints and a clinical win over bottom side Bristol at Ashton Gate two weeks ago.
After a week’s break from domestic action, the men in black and gold head back into Premiership action this Friday night as they travel to The Stoop in the knowledge that a win would secure them a home semi final, Thomas Young says that there’s a lot of confidence heading into the final stretch, while fully aware of the challenge ahead.
“There’s a lot of confidence here within the squad and we have to take that from training out onto the field. Obviously, the way the European campaign ended was disappointing for us, we had worked so hard to qualify from that group and we don’t feel as though we did ourselves justice in the quarter final, but we’ve regathered since then, showed a lot of character to come back against Northampton and put in a good performance away at Bristol. Everyone is itching to get back out there now and we’re all looking forward to Friday.”
“It’s a massive game for us on Friday night as we look for a big push at the end of the season. We’ve been training hard and our focus is on playing as well as we can. A good end to the season for Wasps would be brilliant for everyone involved and, training and playing with this group every week, we all want to achieve as much as we can together.”
The recent RBS Six Nations saw Young called into the Welsh camp as part of their squad for the competition and, despite not featuring in a competitive game, he says he is a better player for the experience.
“The international set-up is something every rugby player aspires to be a part of and you want to play at the highest possible level. It was a big learning curve for me, picking up different things training alongside some of those guys, and it was something I really enjoyed and gave me a lot of confidence coming back to Wasps.
“Everyone wants to play every week but with the squad we have you have to also accept there will be times when you don’t play every minute of every game. This season I’ve enjoyed a lot of gametime and I’m happy with how things are going. I’m really enjoying my rugby at the minute and hopefully that continues for the rest of the season. We have some big games coming up and I just want to play as well as I can.”
Since returning from Welsh camp, Young has also been joined by Wasps’ England internationals as the men in black and gold have started to find their feet again in club colours.
“Everyone has things to work on, every team has weaknesses. We’re been very hard on ourselves and on each other when we review our performances and in training. We’re a team who are motivated to keep improving, you can’t afford not to in this league, and we’re working hard every day to get better. Coming into the last part of the season our performances will have to continue to get better and hopefully the hard work we’re putting in will make that happen. It’s up to us as players to go out and produce what we do on the training pitch in a game.”
“One of the things I pride myself on is being consistent but at the same time you have to keep improving. This season is the most I’ve played at the top level in my career to date and backing up performances week-in-week-out is a difficult thing to master; it’s been a big learning curve for me and hopefully I’ll continue to improve.”