THERE will be some anxious players at Wasps this week.
A team made up largely of back-up players was beaten 22-17 in Cardiff last weekend, and director of rugby Dai Young has told them in no uncertain terms that their efforts fell below the standards he demands.
He says the game was an opportunity for them to climb the pecking order, but most of them wasted it and there will be no place for them at the club if things don’t improve.
He said: “Either they don’t want it enough or they’re not good enough. Either way, they won’t be here next year.
“It’s a simple as that.”
Elliot Daly and Billy Vunipola, who are first team players anyway, were excluded from the criticism, but no one else was.
Young said: “We used that game to give a lot of players an opportunity to start and you would have thought they would have been desperate.
“Some of those players were desperate for a start and have been knocking on my door week after week looking for opportunities.
“You’d think they’d grasp it with both hands, but it was a missed opportunity to stake a claim for keeping the jersey.
“I can see in training that these are quality players, but when they have been given the opportunity in the past they haven’t quite fronted.
“There’s only so many times that can be allowed to happen then you have to look a bit harder at the personnel.”
Generally speaking, Wasps have taken large strides forward this season. But to maintain that momentum throughout the season Wasps need more than a good matchday squad.
Young said: “As far as I’m concerned we need to have confidence in the rest of the squad, not just what most people would recognised as the starting 23.
“I’ve got confidence in them, but they haven’t really delivered.
“I wouldn’t say they weren’t trying [last Friday], that’s too big a statement.
“Everybody was trying, but trying hard and being desperate are two different things.
“We saw last season people defending for their lives and you were carrying people off. That wasn’t the case on Friday.
“I don’t lie to the players. The law has been layed down to them.”