CONFIRMED: Young to depart Wasps
NEWS: Following discussions with the club last week, Wasps confirmed that Dai Young will be leaving his post as Director of Rugby.
After almost nine seasons, Young has told Wasps he feels he has taken the club as far as he can and now is the right time for a new voice to take the club forward.
Young joined Wasps in 2011 and helped to steer the club from second from bottom in the table to three successive Premiership play-offs between 2016 and 2018, including a Premiership final in 2017 when the team was less than a minute away from winning the title.
Young was named the Premiership’s Director of Rugby of the Season the same year, after the team finished top of the table for the first time in nearly a decade.
During his time at the helm, the 52-year-old also led Wasps to the last eight of the Champions Cup three times, including a semifinal against Saracens in 2016.
Young’s glittering playing career was headlined by British & Irish Lions call-ups in 1989, 1997 and 2001, while the former tighthead-prop captained Wales on his way to winning over 50 Test caps. He has also played for and coached the Barbarians.
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Young said: “I am extremely proud of my record during my time at Wasps and was extremely honoured to receive the Director of Rugby of the Season award in 2017. It was proper recognition of all we had achieved as a squad leading up to that season.
“I am very proud of the part I played in developing players who have gone on to play for their countries, like club captain Joe Launchbury.
“It will be tough to leave a club and group of people that has meant so much to me over the past decade, but I feel this is the right time for both the club and for myself.
“I would like to thank all the players, past and present, and the staff I have worked with, especially my heads of department who have become like family.
“I would also like to thank the Wasps fans who have been unbelievable in their support of me and the club, particularly during the tougher times. Their loyalty and support have meant a great deal to all of us and has made my journey even more special.
“It has been a fantastic experience for myself and my family. My wife April and I look forward to following Wasps in the future and supporting Thomas as proud parents from the stands.
“Wasps has been a huge part of my life and I wish everyone at the Club the best of luck for the future.”
Wasps Chairman Derek Richardson added: “I’d like to place my sincere thanks on record to Dai for his hard work and support over the years.
“He has done a tremendous job and, in particular, I’d like to thank him for his advice and help when I first became involved with the Club, and also his support for the move to Coventry in 2014.
“We have enjoyed some very special moments and they will always be remembered fondly.
“I’d like to wish Dai all the best in his future endeavours. He will always be considered a Wasps Legend and will always be welcome at The Ricoh.”
Wasps Chief Executive [Sport] Stephen Vaughan said: “Nine years is a long time at one club in professional sport and Dai has done a wonderful job.
“His commitment and loyalty to the club has gone far beyond the traditional role of a Director of Rugby, as many Wasps fans and staff who have worked with him will understand.
“In my short time at the club, he has been a great person to work with but after extensive conversations, we’ve agreed that it’s the right time for a change.
“We’d like to thank him for his fantastic service and wish him the best of luck in the future.
“Our focus now is to ensure we have a plan in place to take the club forward. It’s important we take the time to make the right decisions as we enter a new era for the Club.”
As confirmed last week, Lee Blackett has stepped up from attack & backs Coach to become interim head coach, supported by Ian Costello [defence coach], Andy Titterrell [forwards coach], Matt Everard (transition coach) and Martin Gleeson (assistant attack coach).
Director of Rugby Dai Young is set to leave Wasps after almost nine seasons with the Club. #OnceAWaspAlwaysAWasp🐝
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) February 18, 2020