Like many Wasps fans, I read the interview you did with Bobby Bridge, which was released on Friday. Like many Wasps fans, I was concerned about the content, with you talking so openly and honestly about how difficult this season had been, explaining the multiple issues you have had to manage.
Dai, from a supporters perspective, it has been a bit of a shocker, probably starting from the news about Christian Wade. I think his departure took us all by surprise, off the back of a fairly depressing performance against Gloucester. The quality of rugby this year has only rivalled the last couple of seasons in small patches, and unfortunately there is a perception amongst some fans that certain players who are departing have downed tools, and are not showing the same desire and commitment as those who are staying. I am not so sure about that one, but I can see where the argument is coming from. When the club is having to announce contract extensions on Christmas Day, following a lousy display in front of a full house at the Ricoh, you know it has not been a year to cherish!
However, and this is the most important part, I honestly believe that having seen the reaction to your interview, the vast majority of Wasps supporters are completely behind you. You are not alone Dai, because most reasoned fans understand that there have been several factors outside of your control. You cannot control, for example, the ongoing hassle and expense the court case must be causing. You cannot control, for example, Eddie Jones’s selection policy, which clearly has contributed towards the different circumstances around Danny Cipriani’s and Christian Wade’s departures from the club.
What you can control now though Dai is how you manage and motivate staff at the club to respond to these setbacks. That is in your control. The main departures are all confirmed now, the speculation can stop, and all the matters now is how Wasps finish the season. Having just checked the table, despite this being a very challenging year, Wasps are three points off fourth, and four points off third. Basically, there is everything to play for still, and it is how you finish the race which matters most now, not how you have started it.
From a personal perspective Dai, all I want to see from the team now is their absolute commitment until the end of the season. Commitment in defence, commitment to having a go in attack, and commitment to you as Director of Rugby. If some players are distracted by moving on, and are not showing this commitment, leave them out. I would much rather see players who love playing for shirt running out than those who are dreaming of wearing another.
Happier times are ahead Dai, and on the weekend where you have seen your lad have a great game for Wales, and where you will surely see your scrum half get a long overdue first England cap, remember who it was that put them in the position to gain those honours.
Being a supporter for me is not about expecting success week after week, game after game. Being a supporter is about sticking by teams through tough times so the successful times are all the sweeter. Get your chin up, remember who you are and what you have achieved, and remember that when you get the team playing as they can, there is no better side to watch in the Premiership.