Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Young demands response

Wasps rugby director Dai Young wants his side to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they face Exeter on Sunday and prove their bright start to the season was not a flash in the pan.

Young had enjoyed an excellent start to his tenure by guiding the Adams Park side to wins over last season's Premiership finalists Saracens and Leicester, with young wing Christian Wade playing a starring role. However, they were given a reality check by Sale last weekend as they were well beaten 29-18.

Young said: "After last weekend's game we have got to really work hard this week to prove that the first two games were a true reflection of how we play."

Not many were expecting to see Wasps challenge for honours this season after enduring a woeful campaign by their standards last term, when they finished ninth. But hopes have been raised following a promising start, and former Cardiff Blues boss Young has challenged his side to get back on track.

He added: "Exeter are a tough team to beat, as they have shown in the early stages of this season. We know that we are going to have to play well to go down there and get a result.

"We are under no illusions about how tough it will be to get a result at Sandy Park and how good a side they can be. But we have had a very focused week and I am looking for the team to make some major improvements on last week's performance."

Young has made three changes to his starting XV with prop Bob Baker making a first start of the season and lock Richard Birkett and centre Riki Flutey also getting the nod to replace injury victims John Hart and Chris Mayor.

Ross Filipo moves to number eight while there are a quartet of exciting youngsters on the bench in the form of Simon McIntyre, Matt Everard, Elliot Daly and Jack Wallace. Young expects the new kids on the block to prove their worth when given the chance.

"The Premiership season is a long one and everyone's squad is going to be tested to the full," he added. "The younger players will be desperate to come in and make an impact and we will need them to stand up and be counted."

Second-placed Exeter, meanwhile, also experienced their first defeat of the season last time out, losing out 23-19 at Bath. And coach Richard Baxter has made three changes ahead of this home clash with Luke Arscott, Sireli Naqelevuki and younger brother Richard all back after missing out at The Rec. Phil Dollman, Bryan Rennie and James Phillips are the men to make way.


From Belfast Telegraph