LONDON Welsh head coach Lyn Jones accepts avoiding relegation from the Premiership will be a huge challenge.

Jones led the Exiles to promotion from the Championship in his first season at the club, but now faces a far tougher test to stay in English rugby’s top-flight.

“We are very much aware of the enormity of the task ahead of us, just to finish in the top 11 of the Premiership,” said Jones.

“Finishing in the top 11 sounds easier than staying up!

“It is going to be a big challenge for the squad, “We appreciate the challenge ahead of us, but at the same time, rugby is about motivation and it is a long season.”

“We feel we have a team that is strong enough to compete.

“Leicester and Harlequins have a squad that is good enough to win the Aviva Premiership.

“I am sure Leicester will be highlighting our strengths and weaknesses.

“From that, we will be able to see what we need to do to bring ourselves up to standard.”

Premiership clubs must field 14 English-qualified players in their matchday squad of 23, which is something Jones has no problem with.

He said: “We are an English club, but we can have a Welsh flavour as well.”