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Home > News > Why Jewell kept his celebrations to a minimum
Your News Why Jewell kept his celebrations to a minimum

Any player’s first try for their new club should be a moment to savour and celebrate, but when that moment comes against the club you spent three happy years then there’s a decision to be made.

That’s the scenario that faced London Welsh centre Seb Jewell last Friday evening at Esher when Gordon Ross’ penalty attempt came back off the upright and it bounced perfectly for the following up Jewell to touch down.

To celebrate or not to celebrate, that was the question. Jewell decided upon the latter, instead opting to quietly accept the congratulations of his new team-mates.

“I did my best not to celebrate,” said Jewell. “Obviously it [the try] meant a lot to be me, but I didn’t feel it was the right time to make a bid deal about it as I was there so long, I know the boys so well and they’re obviously going through a tough time.

“You chase penalty kicks and 99 times out of a 100 they don’t come anywhere near you, but when the ball was about five metres from the post I thought ‘hang on, this might hit the post’ so I started running a bit faster, and it couldn’t have bounced any higher or more towards me if I wanted it to.”

Jewell admits to some trepidation before his return to Esher – the club he helped to Championship promotion in 2009/10 – where he spent three seasons on loan from Harlequins and Wasps, but he need not have feared.

“I got a good reception from the all the boys and the board members – it wasn’t as much of a hostile reception as I thought it was going to be!” he added.

Jewell’s second try in the Exiles’ 37-3 win at Molesey Road secured the four-try bonus-point and leaves Welsh in second place in the table, one point behind Championship leaders Cornish Pirates.

“I couldn’t stop celebrating the second one, it was just one of those moves you call and the little chip over the top from Alex [Davies] was perfect. I couldn’t hold my emotions back on that one,” he said.

“It’s not an easy place to go. Last year Esher came away with a win against Welsh on a Friday night, so I think they were pretty confident, but we’ve got huge confidence within ourselves. We had the game plan and the boys implemented it.”

Friday’s night derby clash at Esher was Jewell’s first start since the Exiles’ pre-season win away to Gloucester, during which he picked up an injury. Since then he’s had to bide his time for an opportunity with Welsh having strength in depth in the centres.

“It’s a testament to the squad we’ve got this season that we’re able to swap the boys in and out and keep a consistent performance,” he said.

“Simon [Whatling] did a great job when he was in there. Paul’s [Mackey] a great player as well and then there’s Hudson [Tonga’uiha] and James [Lewis] – it’s not a bad problem for Lyn [Jones – head coach] to have.

“Everywhere is strong; I don’t think there’s one position where anyone has it tied down. The boys are training really hard and everyone is pushing for places, but the good thing is that if you are dropped everyone is still trying to push each other still and help everyone perform as best they can at the weekend.”

Given his chance against Esher, Jewell certainly took it with both hands, having come off the bench against Nottingham and kicked three conversions against London Scottish in the British & Irish Cup. All in all, the former Quin and Wasp is enjoying his start to life at Old Deer Park.

“So far I’ve really enjoyed it - it’s a good bunch of boys. There’s a nice balance between old and young, and boys in my position who’ve come from Premiership clubs looking to prove a point and get this club up into the Premiership,” said Jewell, who joined Harlequins straight from school after the club saw his dvd.

“Being under Dean Richards was a great experience as was being at Wasps last year with Sean Edwards. Two completely different styles of play but my game wouldn’t be what it is now if I hadn’t had those two contrasting styles.

“My defence is a lot better from being at Wasps and I’d say my attack is a lot better from being at Quins. Also my time at Esher in the Championship was invaluable; getting constant game time and being able to express myself.”

Victory over Esher made it four wins from five for the Exiles and they’ll look to extend that run when they travel to Moseley on Saturday, but from his time at Esher, Jewell knows only too well what a difficult place Billesley Common can be to get a result.

“It’s not an easy place to get four points, let alone five, but hopefully we can come back with another win in the W column and four more points,” he said.

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