(Photo: Getty Images)
By Adam Ellis
Dai Young has ended speculation around him being on the WRU shortlist of candidates to succeed Warren Gatland in 2020 by signing a new long-term contract at Wasps.
As revealed on the front page of TRP’s 24 December edition, the director of rugby was interested in extending his seven year tenure with club and cited the new beginning in Coventry as a being central to the team’s return to success.
“I have really enjoyed my time at Wasps and am excited to be staying at the club,” Young, 50, told Wasps official website.
“The challenges we faced when I took over six years ago have been well documented, and it is thanks to the commitment shown by staff, players as well as the vision and support from Derek Richardson (Wasps owner), that we have made such a success of our move to the Ricoh.
“After our move to Coventry, it feels like we have started again and taken on a fresh, really exciting challenge. The next step for us is to be consistently involved at the top end of the Premiership table and in the European Champions Cup knock-out stages.”
After a sluggish start to the season, Young’s side have strung together six consecutive victories in the league, with Joe Launchbury and Danny Cipriani hitting peak form.
Welcoming title rivals Saracens to the Ricoh on Sunday, Wasps then head into the concluding rounds of the Champions Cup pool stage.
Young signalled his intention to deliver success in both competitions after losing the Premiership final to Exeter and reaching the Champions Cup quarter-finals last year.
“I have huge belief in this squad,” Young said. “A number of players have shown tremendous loyalty to me and to the club and I am pleased to return the faith they have shown in us.
“My focus now will be on keeping things fresh to ensure we keep moving the club forwards. I am confident of achieving that with the staff we have in place and the new additions coming in next season and am looking forward to the challenge.”
The Wasps director of rugby also addressed media items linking him with a move back to Wales to succeed head coach Warren Gatland when his contract expires after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and made clear his commitment to winning club honours as a coach rather than international.
“As a proud Welshman, I am obviously humbled by being talked about as a possible future national coach. However, here at Wasps, we have made really good progress over the past few years and there is still so much to come.
“I am excited by the potential this squad has and I want to be here to help them fulfill it. We were only seconds away from lifting the trophy last season and I want to play my part in going that final step and taking this squad as far as I know it can. Our fans and everyone at the club deserve success and I want to be here to help us achieve it.”