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Wasps boss looking forward to physical challenge at The Rec
DAI Young has urged the Wasps players to forget last Saturday, last season and the last decade and go to Bath tomorrow with a clean slate.
After their troubles last year, losing a 27-point lead on day one of the new campaign could leave some deep scars.
But Young insists that it shouldn’t.
He said: “What I’ve said to the players is forget the history and tradition at this club. That’s gone, we’re not the same group of players that won the Heineken Cup and the leagues.
“Last year there was a mindset in the first few months of, ‘don’t worry, we always come good after Christmas’.
“I was scratching my head thinking, ‘how is that going to happen? Well, we always do.’ But then they had all their internationals coming back. Last year we didn’t have any internationals so I don’t know where that mindset came from.
“So we need to forget that, but we must also forget what happened last year because we’re not the same team that were struggling either.
“If we lose one or two games this season, and we will, I don’t want the mindset to be that we’re going to be struggling again. This team has to make their own strides forward and I’m really big in trying to get this clean slate. It’s a cliche but with these boys it’s true, play every game on its merit.”
Starting fresh then, tomorrow could be a brutal wake-up after the ebb and flow of Twickenham.
Young said: “The first 55 minutes was probably the best rugby Wasps have played in two or three seasons.
“There’s no way you should lose from where we were, no matter who you’re playing, but I never felt comfortable right through that game. We’ve all seen how quickly Quins can score.
“But going to Bath is a completely different challenge. This will be a real test of character and I think it will be a measure of how much we’ve got in our chests as well as our hands. I’m looking forward to it.”
Bath edged out Worcester by a point last weekend, without ever really hitting top gear.
Young said: “They’ll test us physically. Quins play a lot of rugby, but Bath will roll their sleeves up and come straight at us.
“We’ve shown we can play some attractive rugby, but we have to be prepared to meet fire with fire. We have to earn the right to play rugby down there.
“There will be a massive aerial attack, we’ll have to show the courage to take those balls. They’ll certainly challenge every tackle area with real intent. We’ll have to muscle up there, but if we can match their physicality I’m sure we’ll get the result we want.”