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Dai Young backs Joe Simpson for big England future after inspiring Wasps win

Published 22/11/2015

Wasps' Joe Simpson was singled out for praise for his performance in the win over Toulon
Wasps' Joe Simpson was singled out for praise for his performance in the win over Toulon

Dai Young believes Joe Simpson is ready to lead England's new attacking wave after masterminding Wasps' four-try victory over Toulon.

Wasps battered Toulon 33-6 at the Ricoh Arena to complete the English clubs' first European clean sweep since 2008.

Nathan Hughes' brace and further scores from Ruaridh Jackson and Frank Halai stunned reigning European Champions Cup winners Toulon in Coventry.

Simpson orchestrated Wasps' high-tempo play, leading Young to reveal hopes the scrum-half can force his way into new England boss Eddie Jones' Test plans.

"I don't see many nines better than Joe out there," said Young of Simpson, overlooked for England's disastrous World Cup campaign.

"Joe would certainly have come into the reckoning after the World Cup even if Stuart Lancaster had stayed with England.

"His kicking game is up there with the best, and in broken play I think he's the best nine.

"Something England kept talking to him about was the game management, making the right decisions, but I think he's more than mastered that.

"He's shown how accomplished he is as a nine and a decision-maker.

"But the biggest thing for Joe has been bringing in Dan Robson, because having quality players fighting for that starting shirt, it certainly focuses everybody's minds.

"That's helped kick Joe to another level as well.

"I think everyone realises the slate's wiped clean (after the World Cup)."

Fiji-born number eight Hughes again indicated his future prowess for England, doubtless in line for a Test call once he qualifies in June.

His brace stunned three-time European champions Toulon, who were unable to shake off their lacklustre start to the new campaign.

Every English side in Champions Cup action claimed a victory in the tournament's second round, leaving Wasps boss Young praising the standard of the Aviva Premiership.

"I just think the English teams are pretty good sides," said Young, after Wasps backed up their impressive 33-6 win at Leinster.

"The Aviva Premiership is a very good competition.

"It's very tight week in week out, I believe there's good teams right throughout the Premiership.

"It's early doors though. It would be nice if we get a number of teams through to the quarter-finals really.

"I know things didn't go well at the World Cup but it's still a young team and still lots of talent in England.

"And I'm sure things will improve rapidly."

Wasps captain James Haskell hailed new England boss Jones' appointment, then backed the Australian to summon all his experience to restore the Test side to expected glories.

"As a fan it's always great to see someone of Eddie Jones' calibre take over," said Haskell.

"We all want to move things forward and get some victories.

"But we've got to focus solely on our clubs and everything else will take care of itself.

"I'm glad everything's been sorted out, speculation does nobody any favours.

"There's been more of people putting their hands up and taking them down than anything I've ever seen, so it's good people can focus now on getting England back winning.

"I've met Eddie a couple of times, he's a top guy, very down to earth, he's very rigorous in what he does, very meticulous.

"And when you're like that you're always developing your coaching style.

"He will find a style for England to play that gets the best out of the players.

"Players reinvent themselves every season and coaches can do exactly the same.

"If you stick to one style then you come up short."

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