Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young has described his current squad as being the strongest he has coached during his tenure at the club.
And this depth will be put firmly to the test when they kick off their season against Sale since the black-and-golds are set to be missing half-a-dozen leading players.
The Coventry bases side will be without rested Lion Elliot Daly as well as the injured James Haskell and Thomas Young.
In addition to long-term absentees Kyle Eastmond, Sam Jones and Tommy Taylor are also still unavailable.
“My job is to strengthen the squad year-on-year,” said Young
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“and make sure there’s better players coming in than going out.
“Obviously when your George Smiths and Kurtley Beales leave it’s very hard to replace them, but on the whole, I believe our squad has got better each year.
“The next couple of years are about continuity – keeping the squad we’ve got and adding little bits to it. In previous seasons there’s been ten players going out and maybe ten or 15 players coming in, which meant we’ve really had to start again with all our policies and the way we want to coach.
“Hopefully we’re down to four or five changes a season now.
“Although we’ve got a couple of injuries, everyone has at this stage, so we’ve just got to get on with it.”
Haskell, who is set to miss September following a finger operation, seems likely return to full training prior to the commencement of the club’s European campaign in mid-October.
Meanwhile, it’s much harder to be precise with return dates for Jones – who has been missing for nearly a year with a double break to his leg and ankle – and Eastmond who suffered a torn Achilles tendon.