Dai Young hailed his players’ fighting spirit after watching them score 14 unanswered points in the second half to draw with Leinster and qualify for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.

WASPS reached the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier cup competition for the first time since 2007 after a dramatic 20-20 draw against Leinster at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

The black and golds, roared on by nearly 24,000 fans in Coventry, scored 14 points unanswered in the second half to secure the result which saw them finish second in Pool Two, level on points with Harlequins but above them virtue of a better head-to-head record.

That was enough to see them through as one of the three best runners-up, setting up a mouth-watering last eight clash against defending champions Toulon in France on the first weekend of April.

Director of rugby Dai Young feared the worst with Wasps trailing 20-6 after a one-sided first half, but after a sterling response from his players is looking forward to continuing the club’s European campaign.

He said: “We are all over the moon to have reached the knock out stages and I am really proud of the players who made it happen through their second half fight-back against Leinster.

“It is just reward for their spirit and the belief they had in each other to produce that second half performance. It is the nature of this competition that one more point could have meant a home quarter final, but as it was, players and supporters were left with an anxious wait.

He added: “It will be a fantastic European occasion that will live long in the memory for players and supporters alike.

“It is the kind of game you dream of playing in and supporters can make a weekend of it, supporting their team on the road.”

The hosts looked to be heading out of the tournament when they trailed by 14 points with 19 minutes left to play, but hopes of a comeback were sparked when Matt Mullan was pushed over for a try which Andy Goode converted.

The fly-half then bore the weight of his team’s hopes on his shoulders as he lined up a second conversion attempt to level the scored following Nathan Hughes’ try with 70 minutes played.

Goode had struck a post with his first attempt but was allowed to re-take it after two Leinster players had charged down too soon. The 34-year-old made no mistakes at the second attempt to send Wasps through.

To reach the semi-finals the black and golds will have to beat a side who topped Pool Three after five wins from their six matches, and Young believes it will be a huge challenge.

He said: “We now have the ultimate test in club rugby ahead of us, a knock out game against the defending champions, Toulon, in their own back yard.

“They are a side of galacticos and you always want to test yourself against the very best in the game. It doesn’t come any bigger or better than Toulon in the South of France for a place in the European semi finals.”