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Young thrilled with battling win

Wasps' new director of rugby Dai Young was delighted with the attitude of his players after marking his first competitive game in charge with a hard-fought 20-15 victory over Saracens at Twickenham.

Saracens, the defending champions, were back at the game's headquarters for the first time since their title win over Leicester in May but allowed Wasps to come from behind and take the win with a late Tom Varndell try.

The manner of the victory delighted Young, who had nothing but praise for a team featuring five players making their debuts in Hugo Southwell, Chris Bell, Nicky Robinson, Marco Wentzel and Jonathan Poff. He said: "The first thing I asked was for 100% commitment and they gave me that."

He added: "They showed clear intent to play attacking rugby and they did that. Sometimes they made wrong decisions, and our scrum was not right - but we overcame that.

"We played a lot of rugby, won the collisions and put them under a lot of pressure. Saracens had us in a stranglehold for a while, but our defence was good. It's one game, one win, nothing more, and it's Leicester next week."

Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall was bitterly disappointed at his team's failure to hold onto the lead after surging ahead after an hour.

He said: "We are normally very good at closing out tight games, so it was a bitter blow not to go on and win.

"But Wasps were more physical and gained far too many yards to put us on the back foot in the first half and towards the end, and we failed to get enough clean lineout balls."

Despite the summer signing of Sale legend Charlie Hodgson, Saracens started with teenager Owen Farrell at fly-half with the more experienced man only entering the fray in the second period.

"Charlie Hodgson has been with us for only a couple of weeks having recently left the England camp," McCall explained. "Despite his experience, we decided it was important for him to have an easy start, but he'll be the starting fly-half very soon."


From Belfast Telegraph