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Rugby News

Reaction: Jones proud of team but the work is just beginning

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A childhood Tigers fan, today was special for captain Natasha Jones regardless of the result. The chance to lead out the first Leicester Tigers women's team in top-flight competition was an amazing opportunity for the fly-half and, despite a tough loss, there was still a sense of pride. 

"It's been a long time coming. We need a Leicester Tigers women's team in the Premiership. Tigers are the biggest name in rugby and I'm excited to be a part of it".

The team came into this away game off the back of a near-three month pre-season programme which pushed every area, from strength and fitness, to set-piece and open play. But, of course, an in-game scenario at this level is a different beast altogether.

"Training has been really good and we've been putting things together all with an eye on this fixture, which we've been pumped for for so long.

"However" Jones added "we've come away today with a 17 point difference. That first 10 minutes we had them pinned down in the corner, we were constantly putting them under pressure and it felt great and to come away with that first try, we hope, will set the benchmark for what we can do for the rest of the year. We're here to compete.

"When we found ourselves behind in the second half there were multiple opportunities where we'd go back at them and score ourselves. We were in there to the end and still fighting with just a 12 point deficit with 10 minutes to go.     

"It hurt us, that last try in the final minutes. But that try came as a result of pushing for another try, to take it to the wire".

With seven players making their debuts for the team today, Jones was quick to acknowledge that these cup fixtures are equally about getting time on the pitch for a group that is only entering its second year together.

"We are still a fresh team but we know we're in it for the long haul. The new girls that came in made a massive difference to our squad and, even with the girls from last year, we're a very young squad.

"We've got loads to work on but that's exactly what we aim to do".