RUGBY UNION: Exiles face toughest test

First published in Sport Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

LONDON Welsh face their toughest test of the Aviva Premiership season so far when they host Saracens tomorrow.

That is the view of head coach Lyn Jones, who is looking for the Exiles to maintain their improvement against the star-studded title challengers.

“We have played Leicester and Harlequins already, and to be honest, Saracens just might be better than them,” said Jones.

“They are a very, very accomplished team and it is going to be quite difficult for us.

“We need to play from wide to wide and just keep on building.”

Centre Sonny Parker and hooker Neil Briggs went off with what looked like serious injuries in Sunday’s 31-25 defeat to Gloucester.

But Jones said: “They are not as bad as we initially thought.

“We think Parker will be out for four or five weeks with damaged ankle ligaments.

“Briggs is expected to be out for a week with a shoulder injury.

“I was very fearful of the consequences when they went off on Sunday, but we are pleased with the better news.”

Tomorrow is the second of three consecutive home matches for Welsh, with the third being Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Parisien giants Stade Francais.

Although Premiership survival remains the priority for the Exiles, Jones stressed he would be fielding his strongest team for a mouth-watering occasion.

“We want to do well in this competition,” he said.

“Stade Francais in Oxford is as big a fixture as we are going to get.

“We want to put on a good show and we want to take them.

“We will be putting a lot into that game.”

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