His season may not have kicked off as planned but after making his first Aviva Premiership Rugby start of the season, Wasps flanker Sam Jones is aiming to make up for lost time.
Jones made 16 appearances in the league last term but suffered an ill-timed hip injury in pre-season, meaning he had to sit out most of Wasps’ opening to the campaign.
The 22-year-old, though, returned for his first start of the season in Saturday’s 31-15 defeat at Exeter Chiefs.
And while it was in part due to James Haskell’s involvement with England, Jones says he has to take the bull by the horns and ensure it’s the start of a long run in the side.
“I was pretty pleased with how I got on, but as a team and as a whole it was a disappointing result,” said Jones.
“It’s been frustrating to sit out and watch because I did all the hard work in pre-season over in Portugal, then I picked up a knock on my hip in the second warm-up game.
“It set me back about four weeks, but I’m feeling good now but there’s some serious competition in the back row.
“I got my chance because James was away with England, but I’d like to think I did enough to impress.
“It’s a constant battle to get into the side, though. There’s a lot of strength in depth at the club.”
Jones was thrown back in at the deep end in many respects for Wasps’ visit to Sandy Park to take on the Chiefs on Saturday.
Exeter stormed to the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, albeit temporarily, with the victory and Jones admits it was a tough ask.
“They are second in the table now, so they are obviously a very strong team and in decent form at the minute,” he added.
“I don’t think we’ve won down there for a long time, certainly while I’ve been at the club, so it was always going to be difficult.
“They play an expansive game and it's an intimidating place to go at the best of times.
“We left ourselves with too big of a mountain to climb and ending up paying the price, but we’ll look to put that right this weekend against Leicester Tigers.”
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