Former Hampton School boy Seb Jewell admits it is about time he and his fellow London Welsh backs start repaying their forwards’ hard work in the Premiership, writes Charlie Talbot-Smith.

Tipped by many as the whipping boys of the league at the start of the campaign the Exiles have surprised more than a few people with their impressive first half of the season.

Four wins and a further four losing bonus points mean they currently sit in tenth, a full nine points clear of basement boys Sale Sharks.

And the foundations for this impressive start to their top-flight debut are built on their forwards, who have more than held their own in the division both in the scrum and the lineout.

And Jewell, who has appeared in 11 of Welsh’s 12 games so far this season, insists that a New Year should bring a more balanced look to Lyn Jones’ troops.

“Our forwards have been ridiculously good so far this season,” said Jewell, who has played the full 80 minutes at inside centre in their last two Aviva Premiership outings.

“By comparison you would have to say that us backs have struggled, that is in part due to us not playing as well as we know we can.

“But also part of that is down to the gameplan that we have had in place which has been very forwards orientated, making it hard for us to have as much influence.

“We have been concentrating on that in training recently a bit more and in the New Year we hope to be a bit more balanced.”

Jewell himself has bounced between the bench and the starting XV so far this season, but only once, against Northampton Saints, did he find himself as an unused substitute.

But with two straight starts at inside centre under his belt, albeit in two successive league defeats, Jewell knows there is more to come from both him and the team as a whole.

“I was not all that pleased with how I started the season,” he added.

“It was my first season of proper Premiership action and I talked myself out of it a bit and was a bit nervous.

“But I have grown into it as the season has progressed and I must be doing something right to be staying in the team.

“I will keep progressing this year and hopefully that will mean we can continue to play well and stay clear of any trouble at the bottom of the table.”

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