Dai Young will be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in Wasps’ history but all good things must come to an end and the club’s decision is about timing as much as anything else.

ADVERTISEMENT

I’m convinced the Welshman would still be in situ had it not been for Saracens’ points deduction and their automatic relegation to the Championship.

As a result of that, there is no real pressure on Wasps in terms of fighting to avoid the drop and the board have opted to make a change now in order to give the upcoming rebuild more of a chance of being a success.

Whoever comes in may want to bring in their own backroom staff and implement a different style and that is very difficult to do just over one pre-season. I’m sure that’s why the decision has been taken now.

On top of that, it allows a bit more time for the most crucial aspect – which is recruitment. It’s no secret that Wasps are not spending up to the salary cap and there tends to be an almost direct correlation between what you spend and where you finish in the league table.

(Continue reading below…)

Clive Woodward calls on the SRU to take drastic action against Finn Russell

ADVERTISEMENT
Video Spacer

Making this move now will give someone new an extra four months before the end of the Premiership season to assess the squad and make their own judgement on players.

There are some talented individuals in there, without question, but a quick glance at some of the names to have left the club over the past few seasons shows you just what a tough job Young had on his hands.

Charles Piutau, George Smith, Alex Lozowski, Kurtley Beale, Danny Cipriani, James Haskell, Christian Wade, Nathan Hughes, Will Stuart, Elliot Daly, Wille le Roux and Joe Simpson all headed through the Ricoh Arena exit doors in the recent past.

ADVERTISEMENT

That said, rugby, like any other professional sport, is a results business nowadays and 13 wins from his last 46 matches in all competitions was clearly a statistic that didn’t make for good reading.

Young will know that and although things haven’t ended in the manner that anyone would have wanted, he should not be remembered for his final days in charge but for the transformative impact he has had on the club.

The tales of him paying for buses for away games out of his own pocket and providing strapping and tape for players as well because the club was so hard up in his early days are well-known now but they show where he has taken Wasps from.

Moving from just outside London to Coventry posed an almost unique set of challenges and he had to handle everything that came with that as well as coaching the team. He did a remarkable job.

He led Wasps to a European Cup semi-final and a couple of quarter-finals immediately after the move north and they should have won a Premiership title as well, with only a daft penalty conceded by Nathan Hughes denying them in the 2017 final against Exeter.

It was a real rags to riches story in a way but the shelf life for coaches in professional rugby is getting ever shorter and this isn’t one that has got the fairytale ending that many would have liked to see.

Nevertheless, Young will go down as one of the very best to have coached Wasps. The timing seems to have been right for him and the club to part ways – he will be a success elsewhere in the years to come and hopefully the future is also bright for Wasps.

WATCH: ‘Spectacular’ TV numbers recorded in France on the back of Fabien Galthie’s Les Bleus revival

Video Spacer

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now