Aviva Premiership: Dai Young hoping for better luck in Double Header
Aviva Premiership: Dai Young hopes London Wasps will leave Twickenham with a season-opener win
Dai Young hopes he will be leaving Twickenham with a smile on his face when London Wasps’s get their Aviva Premiership season underway against Saracens on 6 September.
— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) July 4, 2014
The clash, which kicks off at 2pm, is the first of the annual London Double Header, with London Irish taking on Harlequins later in the day.
I know everybody is excited for it and hopefully we’ll come away from there this year with a smile on our face
Wasps were left heartbroken in last year’s Double Header when they lost to Harlequins by the narrowest of margins.
Tom Palmer’s last-minute try provided fly-half Andy Goode with the chance to win the game for Wasps but his conversion from the touchline struck the inside of the post and bounced to safety.
If Young’s hopes are to be achieved, his side will need to reverse their current form against Saracens – they have lost their last six matches against last season’s Aviva Premiership runners-up.
But they can take heart from the fact that their last win against Mark McCall’s side came at Twickenham at the start of the 2011-12 season when Saracens were defending champions.
“It would be nice to get a win in the Double Header this year, that’s for sure,” Young said.
“It would be nice to win rather than be biting our nails at the end but we’re playing Saracens which is always a tough game.
“We’re really looking forward to it and it’s always a great occasion – win, lose or draw it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great experience for the players and the supporters.
“I know everybody is excited for it and hopefully we’ll come away from there this year with a smile on our face.”
Wasps finished seventh in the table last season, securing a spot in the new European Rugby Champions Cup by virtue of winning a two-leg play-off against Stade Francais.
Young believes his side’s end-of-season form, in which they won three of their last six Aviva Premiership games in addition to both legs of the play-off, directed attention away from what he felt was a disappointing season overall.
And Wasps have been busy in the transfer market, bringing in 12 players including Sale duo James Gaskell and Rob Miller and Glasgow Warriors fly-half Rauridh Jackson, as Young seeks a top-six finish.
“There’s a good buzz around the camp. The major challenge to start off with is gelling everybody,” he added.
“We believe we have a far better squad this season than we did last. I think the end of the season masked the season for us and gave a little bit of a false dawn.
“Yes we were happy with the end of the season but reflecting on the season [as a whole] it was pretty average and we have to be a lot better this season.
“We want to get in the top six and we want to play in Europe and we didn’t achieve that. The framework of the new [European] competition allowed us an opportunity to get there and the boys played outstandingly well and set a real standard and deservedly are playing in Europe next season.
“For us as a club something we always want to achieve is being in a top competition so there’s a bit of pressure on us this season to make sure we’re in it again next year.”