Young proud of team, thanks fans

Date published: April 24 2016

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said he felt "really proud" of his side despite their 24-17 loss to Saracens in the Champions Cup semi-finals.

The defeat brings to an end a fine European campaign for the Coventry side as they fell to their English rivals at the Madejski Stadium.

But Young refused to be too downhearted as they bow out of the competition.

"I'm really proud of this group, we have come out of the group of death, edged Exeter out and pushed Saracens all the way today," he told Wasps' website.

"This is the stage of competitions we want to be in. We haven't been here for a long time. I've said to the boys to pull our heads up and push our chests out. We didn't quite have enough today, but the players have done the club proud.

"Of course I'm disappointed, especially for the players, but I think in fairness Saracens deserved it. We really struggled to get our game going due to their intensity and defence, but I think you have seen our spirit again here today. When things seemed to get away from us, we found a way to keep on pushing till the end."

Young also found time to praise the support his side received at the ground from Wasps fans, who easily outnumbered Saracens supporters.

"On behalf of the rugby department, I'd like to say a big thank you to our supporters. They were outstanding again today," the boss said.

"To drive up to the stadium and see that many Wasps fans, waving their flags and cheering, was incredible. It was like an international welcome and we can't thank them enough. It's sad we couldn’t get the result we wanted today but it was a special day and I'm sure fans and players loved being back at this level, where we want to play, being part of it all.

"Overall, Sarries probably had a bit more experience at this level and you could see that today, but these are great days to learn from and hopefully will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season and Aviva Premiership campaign."

He added: "The boys need a night off tonight because they deserve it. I will try and get their jaws off the floor because, as you can imagine they are really disappointed, but I couldn't be prouder of this group. Nobody gave us a chance to get out of the pool, let alone reach the semi-final. We didn't quite play the way we would have liked to, but we live to fight another day."