Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Dai Young: English game won't fall into another bitter club-versus-country row

Published 18/10/2016

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was positive about the Aviva Premiership clubs' relationship with England
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was positive about the Aviva Premiership clubs' relationship with England

Dai Young insists the English game will never fall into another bitter club-versus-country row, allaying any lingering tensions from England's injury-hit Brighton training camp.

The amicable agreement between Aviva Premiership clubs and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has recently endured its biggest test in a generation after Wasps flanker Sam Jones broke his leg in a judo session with England.

Bath's Anthony Watson broke his jaw and Exeter's Jack Nowell suffered a thigh strain in rugby training with England, leading Saracens boss Mark McCall to question the timing of the Brighton get-together.

England head coach Eddie Jones met the clubs' rugby directors last week, with Wasps boss Young adamant there has been no lasting damage.

"Obviously Eddie's always going to back his corner and we're always going to back ours; we have slightly different agendas," said Young.

"But when it comes to player welfare and looking after players we've got the same agenda.

"From our point of view it will be doing nobody any good for us to be falling out with the national set-up. And to be honest I don't ever really see that happening, not in this day and age.

"We all realise that and as I said you can't have a bigger brother in this situation.

"We've got to be equals and coming out of that meeting I didn't feel anything other than this is a relationship that will continue and will not be a problem."

England coach Jones had long been slated to meet Premiership coaches in London last week, but Young admitted the injuries in the recent Brighton camp changed the complexion of discussions.

Exeter boss Rob Baxter had expressed frustrations at the workload of winger Nowell's training during the Brighton camp, given the 23-year-old had only just recovered from thumb surgery.

Premiership Rugby bosses and the RFU both issued statements after Thursday's meeting in London to indicate talks had progressed positively.

Now Wasps boss Young has echoed those sentiments, and vowed the relationship between club and country will remain strong.

"The meeting was hijacked a little bit by a lot of things that went on in the camp, because that meeting was pencilled in for a long time," said Young.

"It wasn't a showdown meeting, that was never the case, it was always arranged for Eddie to come along and discuss what his plans were.

"It was an excellent meeting, what we expected, and the previous meetings I've had with Eddie have always been positive and respectful from both parties.

"I totally respect what England want to do and try to support that as much as we can.

"I've never had anything back the other way that wasn't replicated from their side.

"So they obviously had a couple of unfortunate incidents where people got injured but people do get injured, as in any training.

"From our point of view it's part and parcel of sport and these things happen.

"Leaving that meeting everyone was totally confident that we don't see any problems in the relationship moving forward."

Press Association

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph