Doran-Jones glad to be back in the groove for Saints

BACK IN THE THICK OF IT - Paul Doran-Jones in action against Worcester (Picture: Linda Dawson)
BACK IN THE THICK OF IT - Paul Doran-Jones in action against Worcester (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Paul Doran-Jones says he’s happy with how he played in his first start of the season for Saints last weekend.

But the England prop still feels he has plenty of improving to do, after enduring a tough start to the new Premiership season.

Doran-Jones struggled in the first game of the campaign, as he was sin-binned after coming on as a replacement against former club Gloucester.

He was then dropped from the squad to face Exeter at Franklin’s Gardens a week later, with Saints forwards coach Dorian West urging the player to up his game.

Doran-Jones responded by winning a place on the bench at Bath, coming on to help his side hold out for their third win in as many games.

And they made it four out of four last Saturday, beating Worcester 37-31, with Doran-Jones in the starting line-up for the first time this season.

“Coming off the back of the summer I didn’t have a great performance against Gloucester,” admitted the 27-year-old. “It was particularly difficult for me, being my old club. I probably let the occasion get to me. I got sin-binned, put the team under pressure.

“To be fair, Tom Mercey has been playing well, pushing and pushing hard.

“It was obviously difficult then to be dropped out of the squad, but we are a squad, we’ve got a great unit, it’s not about any one player starting and playing any one game.

“It’s about rotation and as showed on Saturday, we can all come in and do a job. There’s going to be times when all of us are sat out or rotated and hopefully keep us all fresh for the season.

“But the scrummaging went really well on Saturday, we were dominant up front and that’s what we base our game on.

“Personally I was quite happy with how it went on Saturday but I’ve got to build on it this week and it’s got to be better on Friday against Wasps.”