Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Jones warning for Welsh board

Lyn Jones believes London Welsh need to have an academy system in place

Lyn Jones has sent a stark warning to the London Welsh board as they head towards almost certain relegation from the Aviva Premiership.

The Exiles bowed out of their inaugural campaign in English rugby's top flight with a final day 33-22 bonus point win over Worcester Warriors for a fifth league victory from 22 games.

Jones said: "I came to London Welsh because there was a vision and an ambition. Maybe the plan was not as accurate as it could have been which perhaps is what has cost us this year."

He added: "But as long as the London Welsh board show vision and ambition to come back up and take on board the lessons learnt from playing with the big boys of English rugby then, will I be there, I certainly hope I will be but only if there is a vision and ambition or we are all just wasting our time.

"I have enjoyed the Premiership. It has been a real challenge. I asked the players to enjoy it. I wasn't going to build up expectations by any stretch of the imagination. The players have become better people from this year. I just hope we can come back."

Tries from wings Dan Caprice and Nick Scott - the latter's being a brilliant 75-metre run - number eight Alfie To'oala and full-back Tom Arscott, plus 13 points from the boot of fly-half Gordon Ross sealed the deal for Welsh.

Jones also told the Welsh board that they need an academy system in place, saying he did not know how difficult it was to run a team without one, and also move to Oxford.

"If there is one thing that London Welsh can do it is to start an academy and come to Oxford to live," he added. "There is a big population here and a lot of young boys who are keen to become professional rugby players who have too far to go.

"If London Welsh are serious about their ambitions, then I seriously hope that Oxford will be their home."

Interim Worcester coach Nigel Redman admitted: "Our start wasn't good enough. They scored two tries in eight minutes which was the difference in the game. Accuracy is something we have to do better. Had we been more accurate throughout the season, it would have been a different story. Today just emulated other games."

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