Young wants top six finish for Wasps
July 4, 2014
Dai Young wants Wasps to be competing at Europe's top table © Getty Images
Wasps boss Dai Young wants his side to go one better next season and finish in the top six and avoid the extra headache of a European play-off.
Wasps finished in seventh last term but obtained qualification to the new-look European Rugby Champions Cup through a play-off against Stade Francais. But Young was fairly bullish about last season's form when he was talking at the unveiling of the 2014-15 fixtures and wants his team to achieve European qualification through league position alone and not through a play-off.
"We're no different to any other team, we want to get into the top six as we want to get into Europe," Young said. "We didn't achieve that last year, finishing in the top six, we need to be honest about that. But the framework of the new tournament meant we were really keen to get there and the boys played outstandingly well against Stade and we deservedly got our place in Europe. As a club we always want to be in the top competition and we need to ensure we do the same again next season."
Wasps have undergone a huge change in personnel in the off season with the likes of Tom Palmer and Joe Carlisle leaving with Bradley Davies, Rob Miller and Alapeti Leiua coming in among others. For Young, the first challenge is to get all of the new faces singing off the same hymn sheet.
"It's looking good in the camp. The major challenge to start off with is to gelling everybody as 12 players went out and something like 13 players came in. We believe we have a far better squad this season than we did last and I think the end of the season masked the whole campaign. It was a bit of a false dawn. We can be happy with the end but we need to be a lot better this year."
The last player to leave Wasps was Charlie Hayter who has taken up a full-time contract with England Sevens and with the Olympics just two years away, Young expects more players from around the Premiership to follow suit.
"The focus on Sevens has increased over the last couple of seasons and the guys who have gone there are quality players within their own right and there's a good level of competition to get into that side and I'm sure there'll be more to follow."
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Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.