Dai Young Shortlisted for Director of Rugby Award
Wasps’ players have hailed team boss Dai Young as the key inspiration behind the club’s bid to establish themselves among the elite of European rugby.
The Welshman, a record-breaking Union/League international, has been in charge of Wasps since arriving from Cardiff Blues in 2011 and has overseen a resurgence that sees them on the brink of qualifying for the Champions Cup for a second successive season.
Earlier this week it was confirmed that he is on the shortlist – alongside Northampton’s Jim Mallinder, Bath’s Mike Ford and Exeter’s Rob Baxter – for the Guinness Director of Rugby of the Season award.
As they prepare for Saturday’s final Avivia Premiership fixture at London Irish, Young’s players were unanimous that he is a worthy contender.
“We’re really pleased for Dai that he has been named on the shortlist,” said skipper James Haskell. “It’s hugely deserved that he is nominated alongside the other strong candidates. “When Dai joined the club four years ago, he saw Wasps through a relegation battle and then the club almost went bust, so he wasn’t given the smoothest introduction. “He’s been incredible really, steering the squad through choppy waters.
“Now the club has turned the corner and is doing well really in Coventry, and it was Dai who guided us through everything and kept the squad together and focused on rugby when we moved home mid-season. “He deserves huge credit for that leadership and also for how he’s building the squad. “Over the past three seasons Wasps have progressed from 11th to eighth to seventh and hopefully it will be to top six this season, if we get our performance right on Saturday. “Sadly we didn’t manage that last Saturday, otherwise you could be talking about the play-offs.
“Dai has done a fantastic job in developing our young squad and managing the team so we’ve seen all off-field developments as real positives. “He’s a great motivator and also has a fantastic sense of humour, knowing when to rule with an iron fist and when it’s time for a joke. “He’s also very direct and is always honest with you. He’ll tell you exactly as he sees it and all the players respect him for that.”
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