Dai Young: Wasps' Coventry move ideal for European challenge

Dai Young
Dai Young has been director of rugby at Wasps since 2011

Wasps boss Dai Young says their move to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry gives them the ideal chance to secure a regular place in the European Champions Cup.

A record crowd of 27,000 is expected for their opening game at their new home against London Irish on Sunday.

"It's going to be a great motivational factor for us," director of rugby Young, 47, told BBC Midlands Today.

"We've fought hard to get back into Europe this year. We want to maintain it and be there season-on-season."

Wasps are currently seventh in the Premiership, just outside the automatic European qualification places, and Young is adamant the club can only benefit from their switch to the Midlands.

"It's an exciting chapter about to open here," he said. "The players are really excited - when you come and walk around you can't help but be impressed and excited. I won't have to say too much to them.

"It's hugely important for us to be in that top six again."

Wasps ready for Ricoh Arena opener

The twice former Heineken Cup winners are still in contention to make the knock-out phase of this season's Champions Cup with two pool matches to go.

They are a point behind leaders Harlequins and Leinster, in second, after two wins and two defeats so far.

The club's decision to re-locate from High Wycombe to Coventry triggered speculation on how the move would impact Coventry City Football Club and the city's long-established rugby side.

Coventry currently play in National One - the third tier of English rugby - but have won a club record 11 games in a row in a bid to gain promotion to the Championship.

"It's not going to be a big issue for us," said Coventry chairman Jon Sharpe. "They play their games on a Sunday so there's no direct overlap with us and that's the case for the rest of this season and the whole of next."

Coventry are hoping to strike up an agreement with Wasps that could see a number of the Premiership's younger players come to the Butts Park Arena on loan - something Young is not ruling out either.

"We want to work together with them, we don't see ourselves as competitors," he said.

"They are not a feeder club - that's disrespectful. They're a big club in their own right and there are obvious cross-overs and benefits we can share."

Wasps fly-half Andy Goode
Coventry-born Andy Goode is in his second season with Wasps after moving from Worcester Warriors