Jones reflects on Wasps resurgence

Date published: November 20 2015

Wasps flanker Sam Jones has reflected on the club's rise from battling relegation to inflicting a record European defeat on Leinster last Sunday.

It doesn't get any easier for Wasps in the Champions Cup given they face champions Toulon this Sunday.

Jones, who impressed in the win over Leinster, has been there throughout the lows and highs and spoke proudly of the progress made by the club so far.

"Having experienced the kind of season we did when we were almost relegated, and having been at this club as we've battled back, games like that mean a huge amount to us," explained Jones to the EPC Rugby website.

"In the season when we had a ridiculous number of retirements and long-term injuries, the young guys like Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, Christian Wade and myself got a huge amount of game-time, a lot more than we were ever expecting, which was great for our development but we understandably struggled as a team that year.

"All of us would say that win at the weekend over in Dublin was probably the best win we've had in Wasps' colours, definitely the most memorable on such a big stage.

"In the first game in Europe, to win by that margin, was a huge boost of confidence and I think reward for all the hard work we've put in over the last few years. There's a core group of us who were here when things were really tough, so it means so much to go and beat some of the best sides in Europe."

Turning attention to Toulon, Jones recalled last season's Champions Cup quarter-final when Wasps bravely were defeated at the Stade Felix Mayol.

"That fixture last season, when we went over there to play, they definitely taught us a bit of a lesson, especially at the breakdown. We knew what a test it would be going over there," he added.

"We spoke before the game about how much hard work we've put in to get ourselves to where we are now, in the top European competition.

"From 22 games last season, it went all the way to the wire, so all that hard work has gone into these games. To come away with the win, and by such a margin, was a great feeling and a great reward for all our efforts. Now, it's all about backing it up this weekend."