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Young's more hands-on Wasps brief

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Dai Young adopts more of a hands-on training ground brief at struggling Wasps

Dai Young is ready to get his hands dirty on the Wasps training ground after the club failed to convince high-profile coaches such as Shaun Edwards and Steve Borthwick to take up roles at the Premiership club. 

Wasps finished in eighth place last term, five points off the play-offs after just 10 wins in 22 outings, and with their coaching team still on the small side in terms of numbers, director of rugby Young is ready to give more of a dig-out in getting things right during the week.  

The Coventry-based club have made some alterations, promoting Matt Everard and recruiting Martin Gleeson from rugby league to work alongside Lee Blackett (backs), Andy Titterrell (forwards) and Ian Costello (defence). But Young has admitted he will be busier than he has been in trying to better share the workload. 

“I went on the record all of last season and probably the season before, we’ve got a small coaching group and where the game is at this moment in time, the game is getting tougher and tougher. Everyone is looking for the one per cents, those fine margins,” said Young to the Coventry Telegraph. 

“I felt that we needed to at least supplement our coaching team to make sure that we keep up with everybody and keep on moving the game forward. It’s been well documented some of the people we went after and didn’t get them. That would have been in a different type of role, that type of people we looked at, head coach, senior coach type of material.

“I am happy with the coaches we have got but it’s too big a job for just the three. Andy will continue with the forwards. Last season he did the scrum, lineout and the contact area. This year he is just doing the scrum and lineout and there is some parts of the lineout that I’m going to take over, take a bit of pressure off him there. Our drives were poor so I’m going to take over the drives pretty much. Not that I have got all the answers. 

Matt Everard is coming in and doing the transition with the youngsters but he is also going to work on the contact area. I didn’t want to give Matt too big a role because the important thing is he helps me get the academy boys into the first team. Again, that takes a bit of pressure off Andy.

“Ian, who everyone wants to chuck stones at, if you look at the stats after Christmas, we were in the top four for a lot of defensive aspects. Before Christmas, we weren’t, but things take a lot of time to drip in. Both myself and the players felt that it was going in the right direction with our defence.

“It’s well documented, it [Wasps’ defence] gets a slamming a lot of the time. We do believe, on the back of some of the foundations Ian put in last year, that our defence will improve this year.

“People keep telling me you need to get a defence coach, but nobody tells me who. I think we all recognise Shaun Edwards and Andy Farrell, but who outside of them would do a better job? I’m confident in Ian and the players are confident. That’s the main thing.

“The attack has always been our strongest part of the game. It’s in our DNA, we want to score tries, score points. Last season our attack was our biggest drop off. Our defence wasn’t as good as we would like it to be but it wasn’t a massive drop off from the year before whereas our attack was.

“I believe the attack is something that evolves every week, the defence doesn’t change too much. There’s little areas you can tweak but your attack has got to change every week. Lee has done an excellent job for us. We have been in the two or three for tries scored for the past couple of seasons, last season we hit a bit of a road block.

“The thinking behind Martin Gleeson is, for a long time now we have brought in rugby league coaches on the defence, but they score tries in rugby league as well. It was important to me to bring someone in who can support Lee.

“Lee can put structures in place and Martin can take about running lines, support lines, decision making and so on and support Lee so you have got a two-pronged attack. Also, it can help bring in new ideas to unlock defence. Lee is in charge of it, Martin is going to help Lee and help take our attack back to where it was before. We’ve got two extra coaches within the coaching group and hopefully take us back to where we were.”

WATCH: The latest RugbyPass documentary, Foden – Stateside, looks at how ex-England international Ben Foden is settling into Major League Rugby in New York

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Dai Young adopts more of a hands-on training ground brief at struggling Wasps