Amlin Challenge Cup 2014: Wasps chief Dai Young eyes more silverware

Amlin Challenge Cup 2014: London Wasps director of rugby Dai Young eyes more silverware

Dai Young has set his sights on lifting more European silverware ahead of this weekend’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals.

The London Wasps director of rugby coached Cardiff Blues to success in Europe’s second competition in 2010 with a 28-21 win over Toulon in Marseille, but has endured a troubled time with the Aviva Premiership club since taking over in 2011.

I think we showed enough in the second game to give us some encouragement though, and if we can play to our potential there is no reason why we can’t get over the line

Dai Young

Wasps, who could still qualify for next season’s Rugby Champions Cup, have had well-documented problems off the field and, under Young, the Adams Park club are starting to turn around their fortunes as they go in search of their second Challenge Cup title.

“I’ve told my players ahead of this weekend that not many get the chance to play in a European final and so they have to do everything not to let this opportunity pass them by,” Young told WalesOnline.

“We have done well in this competition the last two years, going out to Biarritz and then Leinster in the semi-finals, both of whom went on to win it.

“Now the aim is to take that extra step.”

Standing in their way of reaching the showpiece final at Cardiff Arms Park, where Young spent 16 seasons as a player and coach, is Bath—the club Wasps defeated in the 2003 final at the Madejski Stadium, but Young admits it won’t be easy.

And if his side can navigate their way past threats that include Nick Abendanon, George Ford and Peter Stringer, Wasps would face Northampton Saints on Friday 23 May after Jim Mallinder’s side overcame Harlequins 18-10 at Franklin’s Gardens in the other semi-final.

“This is a massive challenge for us,” he added. “They’ve beaten us comfortably twice and been the better team on both occasions.

“I think we showed enough in the second game to give us some encouragement though, and if we can play to our potential there is no reason why we can’t get over the line.”

Wasps came through their quarter-final against Gloucester and warmed up for Sunday’s clash with a thrilling win against the same opposition in the league at Twickenham last week, but Bath have also enjoyed a good run of form to move third in the Premiership last weekend.

“Our performances in the last month have been better. We’re on an upward curve and we’ve had one or two boys come back from injury as well so I think we’re a much stiffer opponent now.

“I was confident we’d beat Gloucester in the quarter-finals but Bath was always a case of, ‘we’re going to have to be good on the day’. But we’re playing on our own patch. We’re determined to get to the final and we’re confident we can do it.”

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