Dai Young: Wasps have potential to be top four club in coming seasons
Director of rugby and seven players agree undisclosed deals with the Ricoh Arena outfit, Dan Robson to join from Gloucester
Wasps director rugby Dai Young believes the club can establish themselves as a top four Aviva Premiership club in the coming seasons.
The Welshman has agreed a new deal to remain with the Aviva Premiership club until 2019, with the announcement coming on the same day that same day that seven current players have also extended their contracts.
I truly believe we have the potential to develop into a top four team over the next couple of seasons and we hope to be in a position to announce some new signings in the next couple of weeks.
The move is the latest step in securing the club’s long-term future after their controversial purchase of and relocation to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
“I am very pleased to have extended my contract and am excited about the squad we are building here,” Young said.
“Life is never dull at Wasps and it has been a roller coaster ride during my four years here to date.
“However, since Derek Richardson came on board, we finally have security and are now in a position to plan for the future and invest in our squad and training facilities.
“We own our own home, which is one of the most extensive facilities in world rugby, we are on course to build world class training facilities and I fully expect to be able to attract more world class players in the years to come.
“The fan base we are building in Coventry and Warwickshire, combined with our original support, is also creating a real buzz for the team.
“It’s fantastic to see so many of our current squad committing to the club and being excited to be part of Wasps future.
“I truly believe we have the potential to develop into a top four team over the next couple of seasons and we hope to be in a position to announce some new signings in the next couple of weeks.”
The six-time Premiership and two-time European champions are recovering from a difficult period in the club’s history, which saw them narrowly avoid relegation in 2011/12 amid a long-term injury crisis and a series of protracted financial issues.
There are very few directors of rugby in the game who would have been able to handle so well what’s been thrown at him since joining Wasps.
Wasps CEO Nick Eastwood
The club have already secured the future of sought-after England forwards James Haskell and Joe Launchbury.
Josh Bassett, Chris Bell, James Cannon, Carlo Festuccia, Ruaridh Jackson, Simon McIntyre and Phil Swainston have all committed to Wasps on undisclosed deals.
“We are delighted to have secured Dai’s expertise and leadership for the foreseeable future,” Wasps CEO Nick Eastwood said.
“There are very few directors of rugby in the game who would have been able to handle so well what’s been thrown at him since joining Wasps.
“He has fought off relegation and kept the squad fully focused during off-field financial difficulties, with the result that he and his coaching team have guided the squad from 11th to eighth to seventh in successive seasons in the Aviva Premiership, and currently sit in the top four.
“Over that time, he has recruited shrewdly and performed the role of both director of rugby and head coach.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dai publicly for going beyond the traditional remit of a director of rugby to keep this club and squad together over the past few years, and for achieving everything he has in testing circumstances.
“Wasps have now embarked on an incredibly exciting new era.
“That commenced with the recent acquisition of the Ricoh Arena and will continue with the development of new training facilities, which will give Dai the opportunity to recruit the players he needs to ensure that the squad continues to go from strength to strength.
“Dai is a critical part of our new era and I am both thrilled and grateful he has committed his long term future to Wasps.”
Wasps today also confirmed the signing of England Saxons’ scrum-half Dan Robson from Gloucester Rugby at the end of the 2014/15 season and further signings are expected in the coming months, including an “exciting” replacement for wing Tom Varndell, who is set to move to Bristol in the summer.
“Dan is quick around the breakdown, has a great turn of pace and a really good kicking game,” Young said.
“We are already strong in the scrum half department and, in my opinion, this season Joe Simpson has been playing some of the best rugby of his career.
“Signing a player of Dan’s potential and skill level will only help to raise the standard and competition for places even further and get the best out of the squad as we look to take the club to the next level in the Aviva Premiership.”