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Q&A with Stephen Jones

This week we caught up with London Wasps Attack Coach Stephen Jones

Jones, who won 104 caps for Wales, joined the Wasps coaching staff this season, after one year as a player with the Club.

How pleased were you with the win in Grenoble last weekend?
It was a wonderful performance from the team. We have been working really hard and to beat Grenoble at home in the manner in which we did so, was pretty special. The ball in play time was very high and we managed to work them hard physically. We were playing against a good outfit so we are proud of that. I thought our continuity and the fact that we recycled the ball at tempo and how we kept the ball through the phases, was very good. We asked a lot of questions of them.

Is there any danger of getting too ahead of ourselves ahead of the return leg?
Definitely not. We played good rugby last weekend but we are very realistic. We have a lot of improvement to make in a lot of areas and playing them this weekend we know we have to back it up again with another win. If you look at what we are facing on the horizon we have Northampton, Newcastle and Exeter so this is a massive block of games for us. There is so much to play for in Europe and in the league so our feet are definitely on the ground.

How are you enjoying the move to coaching?
I am really enjoying it. Obviously we had a slow start but I feel we have progressed and we have got the ball rolling with some good wins. We are evolving all the time and it’s good to know we are getting things in place. There are no quick fixes in sport, it is all about hard work and we have a very good and challenging environment here that is good to be part of. We are ambitious, we want to get better and better and that’s why we are all here. I work with a great coaching set up and I am learning all the time.

As an attack coach, losing the likes of Christian Wade, Tom Varndell, Andrea Masi and so on must be very frustrating?
The players you have named there are wonderful players and of course it is frustrating when you lose them, but the reality is it gives others a chance to play and we are building a good squad. The guys have had a lot of game time but that will stand to them.

What’s the attacking style you favour?
I want the players to be smart, it is as simple as that. I want us to have enough in our armoury that when we are playing against teams with different defensive patterns and different energy levels that we can exploit them and we are comfortable in what we have got. That is where I would like us to get to. That takes time. It takes time to build up that bank and that library of moves and patterns and structures. We have to up skill ourselves and work hard on that side of our game and make sure everyone knows their roles and their responsibilities in the team so we can be efficient in how we play.

Is it hard to make the move from a player to a coach with the same group of guys you played with?
You have to separate yourself a little bit. The fact I had only been here one year as a player, probably made it a bit easier to do that. The response and the effort the guys have put in has been top drawer and I hope we can keep kicking on and improving.

What’s Dai Young like to work for?
I have known Dai for a long time and we get on well. He sets the bar high. He has a great work ethic and you have to make sure you have your house in order when you’re talking to him. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given and I want to make the most of it by hopefully delivering well and presenting well to the guys. I am learning a lot and I just want to get better.

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