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Jones: The emotions are still there, definitely
STEPHEN Jones admits he might find the first Premiership game of the season slightly uncomfortable viewing in a fortnight’s time.
The 35-year-old hung up his boots last summer after a career to end all careers, but while he’s taken immediately to coaching he admits he can still feel the player within like an amputated limb.
He said: “It’s a lot easier watching people do fitness rather than doing it yourself, that’s for sure, and pre-season has been a breath of fresh air.
“The boys have been fantastic and we’ve got good group of people and a great culture, but I still had a good feeling in the stomach on match day for Clermont and Connacht “The first league game at Twickenham will be an interesting test. The emotions are still there, definitely.”
Without him, Wasps ran in seven tries in those two warm-up matches.
But Jones wants to see further improvements against London Irish tomorrow.
He said: “I’m happy with some aspects of our game but we’ve got to work on other aspects.
“I know we can improve and we will improve. I’m looking for improvement in our efficiency in all aspects. We need to raise the bar, that’s our goal week in and week out. We’ve got to do that throughout the season so we’re better than last year.”
Jones joins a new, vibrant coaching set up with Brad Davis.
He said: “We’ve got some wonderfully talented rugby players here and the challenge for us as coaches is to maximise what they have and get the best out of them.
“The balance is key. Teams recognise what threats we have out wide and will try and build a defensive system to stop us.
“We just have to be smart with the way we play. The challenge is to get a good game plan to express ourselves and, more importantly, win. It’s all about winning.”
Irish tomorrow is Wasps’ final warm-up game before they take on Harlequins on Twickenham on the opening day of the season on September 7.
Jones said: “We’ll still be a little bit off [against Irish]. But we took a step in the right direction last week and that has to be the case again.”
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