RUGBY UNION: Jones has Warriors in his sights

Seb Jewell typifies London Welsh’s workrate against Harlequins

Seb Jewell typifies London Welsh’s workrate against Harlequins

First published in Sport The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

LONDON Welsh head coach Lyn Jones says they are looking up not down as they target Aviva Premiership survival.

The Exiles go into a four-week break from league action ten points ahead of basement boys Sale Sharks, with only one club relegated.

But while staying ahead of Sale would mean survival, Jones stressed that tenth-placed Welsh are eyeing Worcester Warriors in ninth.

“We are very well aware where Worcester are at the moment,” said Jones.

“They are not too far away from us.

“We just need to keep on performing.

“We are confident that we can catch Worcester and pass them.

“We know they are an effective side and have done well this year.

“It would be great for us if we could finish above Worcester, who perhaps we are just a few years behind in our development.”

Sunday’s 31-26 defeat to champions Harlequins saw Welsh earn a losing bonus point after battling back from 21-6 down at half-time.

Having lost 40-3 to Quins at the Stoop in September, the display indicated how far the Exiles have come this season.

Jones said: “We are showing determination and spirit.

“We are showing we have good areas to our game.

“The biggest thing we are showing is that we are good enough to stay in this league and finish in the top 11 and build on the challenge for next season.

“That is what we can see and what is giving the boys heart at the moment.”

Welsh’s next Premiership game is at Leicester on February 9 and Jones will use the intervening matches to prime his squad and hopefully see the return of Gavin Henson.

“We have got four games ahead to look forward to and plan for,” said Jones.

“I keep telling players if they want to get picked for the Aviva Premiership, they have got an opportunity to play and to perform in these games.

“If they can do that, they will get a chance to be picked.

“Gavin will be one of them amongst many others.”

  • LONDON Welsh’s final Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 5 match away to Stade Francais will be played at the Stade du Hinaut, Valenciennes on Saturday, January 19 at 8pm.

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