Wasps director of rugby Dai Young believes his side are still not safe from Gallagher Premiership relegation despite a crucial 28-16 bonus-point victory over Worcester.


Young’s troops are seventh after two tries from England number eight Nathan Hughes and one each by wing Marcus Watson and prop Zurabi Zhvania, along with four conversions from fly-half Lima Sopoaga, saw them home.

The Warriors remain just three points above basement team Newcastle after threatening a comeback but, ultimately, falling short.

Flanker Sam Lewis’ first-half try, along with a conversion and two penalties by fly-half Duncan Weir and a huge penalty from full-back Chris Pennell, was not enough.

It will take a disaster by Wasps and miracles from Worcester, Newcastle and others to cause Young’s side to come anywhere near the drop zone.

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However, the former British and Irish Lions prop is being cautious, particularly as his team face the top two – Exeter and Saracens – in the next few weeks.

Young said of relegation: “You would be silly not to have half an eye on it because it is still mathematically possible. We can look in front of us with a bit more confidence now than if we had lost.

“If we had lost, we would have been right in it and in a bit of a dogfight. I’m not going to be blase about it. I still feel we need at least another win to be comfortable but we can attack what is in front of us now.”

He did not want to pick out any individual performances afterwards, but said that Hughes has responded to “having a little bit of a poke in the eye” recently.


Young said of the number eight’s man-of-the-match effort: “That’s the Nathan we like. His performances prior to this week probably have not been anywhere what we expect of him.

“By his own admission, he has not had the impact in games that he is capable of.”

Meanwhile, Worcester’s director of rugby Alan Solomons knows his side are in a fight for their Premiership status but insists they can stay up.

The Warriors boss said: “We are not the only club in that relegation battle. I am confident we can do it but we need to play well.

“If we play to the best of our ability, we will avoid the drop. But if you don’t play to the best of your ability, then you are going to have a problem and we certainly didn’t in the first 20 minutes of this game.”

That period saw Worcester go 21-3 down and they faced a mountain to get anything from the match.

“I know the momentum swung after this but I felt we could have defended a lot better than we did inside our 22,” said Solomons.

“I thought the tries came too easily. We were not really at the races in the first 20 minutes.”

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