Davies backing Jones to bounce back from Wales disappointment

Guinness PRO12 Editor

29 Nov 2011


News, Scarlets

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies believes Warren Gatland has missed in a trick in overlooking fly-half Stephen Jones for Wales’ clash with Australia next Saturday.

The playmaker was instrumental in Scarlets’ 22-12 derby victory over the Dragons on Friday night – not missing a kick on his way to a 17-point haul.

And the 34-year-old, who rebuffed the chance to play for the Barbarians against the Wallabies to make his 300th league appearance for the Welsh side, has been backed by Davies to improve on his record 104 international caps sooner rather than later.

"Steve was superb for us,” said Davies. “Obviously he was a little bit disappointed not to be playing with the Barbarians but he came here and he was probably the difference between the teams.

"He was a real stalwart for us. He was physical, led the game for us very well. It was a great performance.

"We both spoke about the Barbarians game and he was very keen to be involved with us. We knew it was going to be a very tough game and so it panned out, but to have Steve's experience, mental and physical toughness was a key factor.

"If he plays well, then I see no reason why he can’t force his way back into the Welsh squad. It's all very well building for the next World Cup but in between you've got to gain momentum and win matches.

"It will depend on his form and on other players' form, but we know he's a quality player who can play at that level."