Bristol Rugby hooker Marc Jones believes the return of Gavin Henson can be a major factor when his side travel to Sixways to take on Worcester Warriors – a side just two points above them in the Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Jones’ side downed their West Country rivals Bath Rugby in round 16 at Ashton Gate with a dramatic 12-11 win while the Warriors left Franklin’s Gardens empty-handed as they were beaten 24-14.
Bristol fly-half Gavin Henson scored all of his side’s points in their victory last time out, landing three penalties and a long range drop-goal.
And Jones believes having his fellow Welshman back pulling the strings is vital as they approach a crucial clash with Worcester.
“Gavin (Henson) is key for us. He gives us a platform and puts us in good positions but not only that his defence is exceptional so teams aren’t going to cut through us in the ten channel,” said Jones.
“He is a good person to have on the field and is a real calming influence. He never gets flustered which is what we have needed in the last few weeks.
“Form will count for nothing in the game against Worcester.
“As long as we turn up on the day and perform as we have shown in parts this season, I believe we can pick up a win. It is going to be a tight fixture.”
With Warriors winning two of their last three home fixtures in the Aviva Premiership Rugby, Jones recognises the size of the challenge his side face on Sunday.
And the former Sale Sharks hooker stressed the importance of winning the physical battle first and foremost to give the likes of Henson the platform to steer the team around the pitch.
“We have analysed them and know what to expect – one thing is for sure we can expect a physical battle,” he said.
“They seem to be going a lot more direct now and using more of a kicking game which is a different challenge for us.
“Obviously, we need to get front-foot ball to be able to kick effectively. The forwards to need to get the go-forward for the team and do the ground work so our half-backs have an easier job.
“We have complete faith in Gavin to put us into good positions but all of our scrum-halves can relieve pressure with their box-kicking as well.”
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 1, 2017