Amlin Challenge Cup
Jones plays down talk of Henson recall
October 15, 2012
Gavin Henson caught the eye once again as London Welsh went down to Stade Francais in the Amlin Challenge Cup © PA Photos
London Welsh coach Lyn Jones has dismissed talk backing fly-half Gavin Henson for a Wales recall.
The Exiles kicked off their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a 68-19 mauling at the hands of Stade Francais at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday but Henson's 14-point showing, in only his second start of the season, drew praise from his boss.
"He was very good, he has been excellent," Jones told the Western Mail. "I thought Gavin held us together at No 10. I'm just really pleased for him and the way he has taken on responsibility in the changing room and stood up.
"He offers the game a high level of ability. There was two world-class kickers on the field. Gavin and [Stade Francais fly-half Felipe] Contepomi were those two. Rugby players are rugby players. You need to make the right environment for them to come and enjoy training and playing rugby."
However, Jones insists talk of a return to the international ranks is premature. "Look, it's two matches in and we need to bide our time a bit, enable him to settle in and play. Then we'll see what comes of it."
With Premiership survival their clear objective for the coming season, Jones rotated his options for the Stade clash and unsurprisingly they were found wanting against their Top 14 rivals. "It verged on a level of embarrassment as the game went on," added Jones.
"It was a healthy rugby lesson from a very efficient Stade Francais side. That's the way it goes. I knew it was going to be a huge challenge for our players, that we had to play well and they had to play badly for us to register a victory, but they played well with a couple of our mistakes at the outset setting the tone."
The Exiles face Italian side Cavalieri Prato in their next euro outing on Saturday.
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