Director of rugby angry at five-day turnaround from Saracens defeat

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Director of rugby angry at five-day turnaround from Saracens defeat
Dai Young, the Wasps director of rugby, has claimed his side’s “unfair” fixture congestion puts them at a disadvantage in the Champions Cup and has urged administrators to bring an end to five-day turnarounds.

The injury-hit Wasps begin their Champions Cup campaign at Ulster on Friday, having lost away against Saracens on Sunday. With Monday spent as a recovery day and the squad due to travel on Thursday, they will have had only two full training days to prepare – two fewer than in a seven-day turnaround.
Mark McCall, the Saracens director Mike Ribeiro Jersey of rugby, has expressed his sympathy for Wasps, who have lost their past four matches, on Sunday describing the turnaround as “grossly unfair” and Young conceded that the two-times Heineken Cup winners begin their European campaign with one hand tied behind their backs.
“Is it unfair? Yes it is. You can’t say it is not with [Ulster] having seven days and us five,” he said. “It’s not ideal, it’s not fair and it has obviously put us at a disadvantage. We have to deal with it, go there and give it our best shot but I believe our best shot can be enough.”
In the face of criticism this week European Professional Club Rugby, the governing body that organises the Champions Cup, has robustly defended its fixture list. The Champions Cup fixtures were not released until 22 August, six weeks after the Premiership had announced its plans to schedule Saracens v Wasps for last Sunday. However, EPCR has privately questioned why a Premiership match featuring two teams in the Champions Cup was arranged for the Sunday before the start of the European competitions.
EPCR has further defended its position, highlighting the fact that the Premiership as well as the Pro14 and the Top 14 signed off on the Champions Cup fixture schedule and insisted five-day turnarounds – of which there will be five in Moses Malone Jersey total this season – were avoided wherever possible.
“Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches are scheduled on the basis that clubs are available to play on the fifth day following a previous fixture,” an EPCR spokesman Chance Warmack Jersey said. “This is a situation that EPCR looks to avoid but when venue availability, domestic calendars and broadcast schedules for the entire season are taken into account, it is not always possible.”
It is understood that Wasps have not lodged any form of complaint but Young said: “I get it’s not easy and there are a lot of stakeholders people are trying to keep happy. It’s not easy to get right, but we need to avoid five-day turnarounds. I think that is pretty obvious for everybody, not just us.”
Despite his frustrations Young, who will restore Joe Launchbury to his starting XV and is optimistic of welcoming Jimmy Gopperth and Nathan Hughes back from injury, has told his players they cannot use their lack of preparation time as an excuse. Wasps reached the quarter-finals last season before they Drew Bledsoe Jersey were comfortably beaten by Leinster and Young conceded that defeat against Ulster would leave them in a perilous position in a pool that also contains Harlequins – visitors to the Ricoh Arena in round two – and La Rochelle.


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