Wasps approaching European rugby 'with a smile', says Dai Young
Last Updated: 12/10/17 5:18pm
Dai Young says Wasps will launch their European Champions Cup campaign "with a smile on our faces" after a testing start to the domestic season.
Wasps lost four of their opening six league games while suffering several injury setbacks during the opening Aviva Premiership action.
But they head to Belfast for a Pool 1 opener against Ulster on Friday bolstered by the return of key players such as Joe Launchbury, Jimmy Gopperth, Nathan Hughes, Dan Robson and Christian Wade.
"We've parked the Premiership to one side for now, and we are really looking forward to getting stuck into a new tournament," Young said.
Champions Cup Pool 1
Premiership duo Wasps and Harlequins join Irish province Ulster and Top 14 surprise package La Rochelle in Pool 1.
"We have dusted ourselves down and it's a good time for us to switch to a new competition with the slate wiped clean.
"We go to Belfast with a smile on our faces, ready to enjoy the experience, as that is when we play our best rugby. If we can produce the standard of rugby we know we're capable of, there is no reason why we can't get a result.
"The Kingspan Stadium is a great venue to play rugby, as I always found during my time coaching Cardiff, and our squad really enjoyed the atmosphere there in our pre-season game.
"Ulster have a quality squad, with threats throughout, so you have to be at your best if you are to get a result there.
"I am sure they will have ordered some rain in again, as well. I don't think I've ever been there on a Friday night when it hasn't been bucketing down!"
Ulster will be captained by British and Irish Lions forward Iain Henderson, who leads a starting line-up that includes 12 internationals.
Director of Rugby Les Kiss has made three personnel changes, while the one positional switch will see Henderson move from blindside flanker to second row.
Robbie Diack and Sean Reidy are introduced alongside Jean Deysel, who will make his Champions Cup bow for Ulster.
John Cooney and Christian Lealiifano will also make their European debuts for the province while Charles Piutau will face his former club.
Wasps have won five of the six meetings between the clubs however the two have not met in Europe since the 2001/02 season.