Dai Young: Wasps director of rugby eyes Wales coaching job in 2023

Former Wales captain Dai Young played prop 51 times for his country between 1987 and 2001 and went on three British and Irish Lions tours
Former Wales captain Dai Young played prop 51 times for his country between 1987 and 2001 and went on three British and Irish Lions tours

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young says he would like to be considered for the Wales coaching job in 2023.

Wayne Pivac has signed a four-year deal to replace fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland after the 2019 World Cup.

Young's club contract ends in 2023 and says his focus then is to become an international coach.

"I would like to coach international rugby after that and if Wales was an option that is something I would be interested in," said Young.

"Hopefully by that time I would be a credible candidate but if things don't go well in the next four years I would not be in that position.

"I want to coach internationally but it does not have to be Wales. I would prefer it to be Wales because I am Welsh but if I had to look elsewhere I would.

"My main focus over the next four years is to make Wasps competitive every season.

"It is a great club but after my time here I would like to get an international gig."

Wales' next coach Wayne Pivac with part his backroom staff Stephen Jones (left) and Jonathan Humphreys (right).
Wales' next coach Wayne Pivac with part his backroom staff Stephen Jones (left) and Jonathan Humphreys (right)

Young is the only Welsh director of rugby or head coach in the professional game in rugby in Britain and Ireland.

None of the four Welsh regional teams have Welsh head coaches and Young hopes more of his fellow countrymen are brought through into the top jobs.

"We are sometimes own worst enemy in Wales because we are always harder on our own," said Young.

"Nobody is saying we are the finished articles. Even after 16 years as a director of rugby I am learning every day and would like to think I am getting better.

"We tend to not get behind our coaches or value them and we have had some great coaches in our recent past.

"I am not sure they are appreciated in Wales, you are perhaps appreciated a bit more over the [Severn] Bridge.

"When my contract has come up for renewal with Wasps and I have decided to stay, I have had numerous options in England but not in Wales - not that I really considered that was something I wanted to do at the time.

"But it seems Welsh regions do not want Welsh coaches, which is sad because we need to get behind them.

"We have good young coaches but there are doubts whether they are going to be given an opportunity. If they are given the chance will we get behind them?

"If you have one bad year in a region that's it for life and nobody will credit you for getting better.

"We just need to stop the negativity and back them."

Young has experienced the Welsh scene having led the Cardiff Blues from 2003 to 2011 before linking up with Wasps.

His English Premiership time has been littered with challenges on and off the field as well as working with his son Thomas, who has excelled in the Wasps back-row.

Thomas Young made his Wales debut in 2017 against Tonga in Auckland
Thomas Young, son of Dai, made his Wales debut in 2017 against Tonga in Auckland

The closest Young came to silverware was in the 2017 Premiership final when Wasps were defeated 23-20 by Exeter in extra time.

"I have been here eight years, not something I would have envisaged when I came here," said Young.

"It is a long time at one club but it has not felt like that because we have been through different phases.

"We had financial difficulties for the first couple of seasons which made things tough. Then we went through a period of trying to get a new owner, with one or two false dawns before Derek Richardson came on board and he has been fantastic.

"We then went through looking at a new stadium and leaving Adams Park in High Wycombe, we had 18 months travelling from London to Coventry before being based down here.

"My goal has always been for Wasps to be a consistent top-six team and they weren't when I came here.

"We missed out on that last time but four or five seasons we have been there and pushing for the top four. Two years ago we reached the final and were 90 seconds from winning it.

"You always strive to win things and are judged on that, so if we can get some silverware, then happy days."

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