Dai Young: Wasps director of rugby forced to trim squad

Dai Young
Wasps boss Dai Young played international rugby for Wales in both codes of the game

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young says he has had to cut the size of his squad at the Premiership club in order to cope with escalating player salaries.

The Premiership salary cap will be frozen at £7 million for the next three seasons, while wages have been on the rise.

Young says that in the current climate the "maths don't quite add up".

"The salary cap is not moving and players want to get their market value," Young told BBC 5 live.

"We have gone from 45 to 43 to 42 to 40 players. Our squad is getting smaller to keep the quality players we have got.

"The pay demands have gone up, so it's a square peg in a round hole pretty much."

'Are players putting their hands up to take less?'

The issue of player welfare is high on the agenda in light of the Premiership's controversial plans to extend the season, but smaller squad numbers will only serve to put extra strain on players, especially in an injury crisis.

Saracens and England number eight Billy Vunipola told the BBC that he would be prepared to take a pay cut in order to play fewer matches, but Young doubts whether this is a commonly held view.

Young asked: "Are players putting their hands up to take less to get bigger squads? I haven't come across that yet and certainly, if the players are feeling that, it's not getting through to the agents.

Billy Vunipola
England and Saracens forward Billy Vunipola said he would take a wage cut to play fewer matches

"Their careers are short and they are all looking for market value and we all get that. But the maths don't quite add up and, at some point, we need to sit down and plan our way through it."

England captain Dylan Hartley feels that players should be free to maximise their earning potential during their short careers.

"I want the players to get paid as much as possible," he told BBC 5 live.

"Every rugby player earns every penny. Knowing what the guys put their bodies through and the risks they are taking, they should get paid as much as they can."