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Young expects wounded Gloucester


Wasps rugby director Dai Young

Wasps rugby director Dai Young

Wasps rugby director Dai Young

Dai Young expects his Wasps team to be met by a "hurting" Gloucester side in Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash at Kingsholm.

While Wasps launched a new era by marking their first appearance at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry through crushing London Irish last weekend, Gloucester came horribly unstuck at home to fierce west country rivals Bath.

Gloucester's 39-16 defeat left them 10 points off the Premiership play-off pace, while victory for Wasps this weekend could take them into the top five.

Young, though, is cautious about the challenge ahead, with Wasps having yet to record a Premiership away win this season, and claiming a solitary win from their last five trips to Kingsholm.

"They are going to be hurting because they lost their last home game," he said.

"I see a real hungry Gloucester team playing in front of a packed house again. They don't lose on a regular basis there, so we know we've got to back up last week.

"And we still need that 80-minute performance because, quite frankly, last weekend was only a 40-minute performance.

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"They (Gloucester) have got a decent pack with a very good set-piece, then they've got bags of pace behind.

"They are as dangerous as anybody in broken play, so they like to play wide, and we expect them to play with a lot of width."

After the Gloucester clash, Wasps head back to Coventry for a New Year appointment with Sale Sharks, before visiting Bath and then facing critical European Champions Cup games against Harlequins and Leinster in their quest for a quarter-final place.

"We've wrapped this period up as a big phase really, with the games over Christmas and the two European games," Young added.

"We know this period will shape our season moving forward, and we've just got to try to put up as many victories in the league as possible.

"Certainly, going into the last six weeks of the season we want to be in the position when it's in our hands. You don't want to be relying on other people and other results.

"We are roughly where we want to be at this point, lying sixth in the table, but it's very, very tight.

"We are in a good position at the minute, so we've just got to keep moving things forward."

For their part, Gloucester know a win would maintain distance between themselves and the bottom three, while also setting themselves up for tough early January encounters against Exeter and Saracens.

"Wasps have moved a little bit ahead of us in the table, so it's a big challenge for us," Gloucester rugby director David Humphreys said.

"It is going to be a tough test for us against a team that we're competing against directly in terms of trying to move up the table."