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Dai Young wants to see his Wasps side recreate Europe form in Aviva Premiership

Wasps boss Dai Young has challenged his players to transfer blistering European form into the Aviva Premiership arena.

Young's men resume domestic business against London Irish at Twickenham on Saturday, when they will be without wing Christian Wade because of a foot injury that could sideline him until February, and England lock Joe Launchbury, who has a hamstring strain.

Wasps have proved to be the headline act in this season's European Champions Cup, crushing title holders Toulon 32-6 a week after demolishing Leinster 33-6 in Dublin.

But they are currently in the Premiership's bottom half following two wins from four starts, and Young wants to see European standards delivered on a domestic stage, starting this weekend.

"We have set ourselves high standards over the last two European games," Young said.

"Now, we need to transfer that form to the Premiership and find consistency, because we haven't produced that consistency yet.

"In the league so far, we've produced two very good home performances and two very average away performances.

"The biggest thing I have said this week is that it is great doing well in Europe, but we need to make sure we qualify for Europe again next year.

"There is no point in us going on a great run and doing really well in our European campaign and then not qualifying for the European Champions Cup next year. So our next two games (against Irish and Exeter) are massive for us now.

"This season is relentless. It's a big game this week, and then, funnily enough, it's another big game the week after."

In the opener of Saturday's Twickenham double-header, Premiership champions Saracens will bid farewell to 35-year-old number eight Ernst Joubert, who retires following the game against Worcester.

"Ernst has been a truly fantastic player during his six years at Saracens," said Saracens rugby director Mark McCall.

"He has played a huge role in helping us become a side that is challenging on the field and has been extremely important in establishing a brilliant culture off the field.

"He has had a willingness to front-up day in, day out, and he hardly missed a training session in six years."

Worcester have already claimed two wins following their Premiership return this season, but Warriors rugby director Dean Ryan has no doubt about the sizeable task that awaits his players this weekend.

"It's a great opportunity to benchmark ourselves against one of the best sides over the last three or four years," Ryan said.

"We have got a better idea of where we are competitive after four games, and now we will be scrutinised against one of the most efficient sides in the league, but we are keen to show what we can do."

If Premiership leaders Saracens lose their season's 100 per cent record this weekend, then Exeter could climb into top spot by beating Sandy Park visitors Harlequins on Saturday, although it will be a testing mission against a team just one place and two points behind them.

Exeter have lost only two games in 14 months on home soil, and head coach Rob Baxter said: "If we want to have a successful season, we have to perform well at home and we have to build a backbone and foundation.

"It is making sure we know how important this fixture is, not just because it is Harlequins, but also because it's at home and we have a great record here and we want to make sure it continues.

"Neither side is second or third because they are playing badly. It's second versus third because both sides have shown good form so far this season.

"The driving force for us is we are at home and we have a real emotional drive to make sure this place is a very important place for us to play a game of rugby."

Saturday's other Premiership encounter sees Sale Sharks at home against bottom club Newcastle, while Leicester host Bath on Sunday.


From Belfast Telegraph