Dai Young’s nine-year association with Wasps ended on Tuesday, heralding the start of a new era for the Coventry club. 


The Welshman guided the six-time Premiership champions through some extreme lows, which included possible bankruptcy and relegation, to the Premiership final in 2017. 

But with the club struggling this season near the foot of the Gallagher Premiership table, a change was likely, particularly in a season where there is now no threat of relegation due to Saracens automatic drop from the top flight. 

Since Young stepped back from his first-team duties last week, there has been plenty of speculation as to who could be the next director of rugby at the Ricoh Arena. 

A number of ex-Wasps players’ names have been bandied about, with Joe Worsley, Dave Walder and Rob Howley being the leading candidates. 

(Continue reading below…)

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Worsley played over 300 games for Wasps, 78 for England and one for the British and Irish Lions, winning a World Cup, four Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups during a glittering career.

The former flanker has worked with Bordeaux and Georgia and is now defence coach of Castres. 


Similarly, Walder and Howley played for Wasps during their glory years of the 2000s, winning silverware along the way. Walder is currently Newcastle Falcons’ head coach, while Howley is hoping to return to coaching following his ban for betting offences. 

Wasps suffered a mass exodus of players at the beginning of the last decade with club legends moving on and retiring. That coincided with some financial struggles, but the move to Coventry promised a brighter future for the club. 

However, the core of the team which took Wasps to the Premiership final in 2017 have moved on in the last couple of the seasons and the club will need to rebuild again over the coming years. 

The departure of so many players, as well as relocation to another part of the country, can leave a club lost and bereft of identity. 

Therefore, many Wasps fans want those who were part of the club during the glory years to take them forward and bring pride in the shirt again. This is not to say that Young did not do that, but the likes of Worsley fit the bill now his position is vacant.

The bonus is that many of Wasps former players now linked with the club have had successful careers as coaches so far, so this is not just a case of appointing fan favourites for the sake of it. 

This is the model that Leicester Tigers have tried to stick to over the years, as players such as Dean Richards, Pat Howard, Richard Cockerill and recently Geordan Murphy have taken charge of the club after retirement. 

It is a way to ensure continuity in the direction and approach of the team. This is an option that Wasps fans seem keen on.

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