A horrendous list of injuries and the suspension of prop Ken Fourie has forced the former Wales captain to name himself at tighthead prop in Cardiff's starting XV for the Celtic League quarter-final at Hughenden.
First-choice props Spencer John and Gary Powell and hooker Greg Woods are all out injured. As well, Fourie begins his three-match ban for the red card he earned for punching Pontypridd and Wales lock Rob Sidoli last month.
'My No 1 job is coaching, and I'd rather not be playing,' said Young, the 35-year-old veteran of 51 Tests for Wales and three British Lions tours.
'It looks like I'll be holding the fort for a month or so, which is a bit of a surprise, but we'll get there. I have played the game before, you know.'
Cardiff skipper Martyn Williams admitted it would be strange captaining his coach on Saturday.
'He'll still be the boss - he pays my wages,' the in-form Wales flanker said. 'Trust me - if Dai wants to go for goal, we'll be going for goal.'
Young has named a strong XV to face Edinburgh, with Wales internationals Rhys Williams, Jamie Robinson, Craig Morgan, Nick Walne, Iestyn Harris, Ryan Powell and Williams welcomed back with open arms from the Autumn Test series.
Robinson's younger brother Nicky has been named on the bench, despite starting for Wales Under-21 against New Zealand Youth at the Arms Park on Friday night.
Cardiff: R Williams; N Walne, J Robinson, M Allen, C Morgan; I Harris, R Powell; P Rogers, A Lewis, D Young, H Senekal, J Tait, R Appleyard, D Baugh, M Williams (capt).Replacements: T Payne, L Collins, A Jones, E Lewis, R Smith, N Robinson, D Van Vuuren.
Allen set for Celtic League return
IT'S CELTIC SUDDEN DEATH