Wasps have Amlin Challenge Cup glory in their sights

Bucks Free Press: Andrea Masi Andrea Masi

WASPS were relieved to go out of the Amlin Challenge Cup last season; this year they’re out to win it.

They were beaten 26-23 by Biarritz in last season’s quarter-final, but Dai Young believes another game might have broken his squad and cost them relegation.

This time it’s different though. Wasps have strength in depth and the black and golds want silverware to mark their improvement.

Young said: “Last season we were pretty much down to 20 players and we were fighting relegation, which was nip and tuck.

“If we’d put another game in there and got to the semi-final and devastated our team even more and then had a disaster against Newcastle...that was my thinking.

“You never want to go out of any competition but the last thing we wanted was to get to the semi-final and then played Newcastle with nothing and gone down.

“This season we’ve got a stronger squad and we’re going to give it a real crack. It’s Heineken Cup qualification as well if we go on and win it.

“It’s a big ask but all we can do is keep working. We got to the quarter-final last season and we want to at least get there this season. Then hopefully we can kick on and do a bit more.”

Beating Bayonne has put them in prime position with two games left, against Newport-Gwent Dragons and Rugby Mogliano.

Young said: “I know Rodney Parade better than anybody. That is a potential banana skin and anybody under-estimating them going there can catch a cold. I know that’s going to be a really tough game. That’s not any easier than going to France and playing.

“But if we come away with a win there we’re in the quarter-finals. With the Italians at home we’d have to fancy ourselves.

“We’ve worked hard to put ourselves in a position and it’s important we kick on with the two games left. If we go and mess things up we’ve only got ourselves to blame.

“Where we are in our development, we can’t turn the tap on and off.

“We have to try and make winning a habit so we’re going for every competition. It’s Heineken Cup qualification as well if we go on and win it.”

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