Jones ready to kick-start his season
Having been forced to sit out the early part of this campaign with injury, Sam Jones is looking to get firmly back in the mix.
Despite a disappointing loss to Exeter Chiefs on the road last weekend, Jones was a stand-out performer.
The 22-year-old has had to wait patiently for a starting shirt but he says he is desperate to stake his claim in what is a hugely competitive back row.
"I was pretty pleased with how I got on, but as a team and as a whole it was a disappointing result. It's been frustrating to sit out and watch because I did all the hard work in pre-season over in Portugal, then I picked up a knock on my hip in the second warm-up game. It set me back about four weeks, but I'm feeling good now but there's some serious competition in the back row.
Jones, who has been an ever-present and vital member of the Wasps squad since his rise through the Wasps Academy into the senior squad, had the difficult task of stepping into captain James Haskell’s shoes whilst he was away on England duty.
"I got my chance because James was away with England, but I'd like to think I did enough to impress. It's a constant battle to get into the side, though. There's a lot of strength in depth at the club."
Exeter Chiefs have had an impressive start to this season and Sandy Park remains an elusive stadium where Wasps are yet to succeed. Jones reiterates the threat Chiefs pose if you let them into a game early on.
"They are second in the table now, so they are obviously a very strong team and in decent form at the minute. I don't think we've won down there for a long time, certainly while I've been at the club, so it was always going to be difficult. They play an expansive game and it is an intimidating place to go at the best of times. We left ourselves with too big of a mountain to climb and ending up paying the price, but we'll look to put that right this weekend against Leicester Tigers."
This weekend provides the men in black and gold with another tough task away from home, with a trip to Welford Road beckoning, and Jones knows the size of the task ahead of him and his side.
"Leicester is always a really tough place to go and play. We know how good a side they are and, with the re-introduction of some of the senior players they have been missing of late, we are in for a battle. We are confident in ourselves and we know that, if we play to our structures and play for the full 80 minutes, we are a match for any side. We need to prove that this weekend."