LONDON Welsh head coach Lyn Jones said his players were very down after their heavy home defeat to Stade Francais.

Jones spoke before the game of the excitement in his squad as they prepare to host French giants Stade, but the mood was far from that afterwards.

He said: “It verges on a level of embarrassment, the way the game went on and the players are just that in the changing room.

“I think it was a healthy rugby lesson from a very efficient Stade Francais side.

“I knew today was going to be a huge challenge for our boys and that Stade Francais would have to play badly for us to register a victory.

“That wasn’t to be. They played well and our mistakes, right from the outset, set the tone on the game.”

Jones added: “I thought Gavin Henson was excellent at ten again.

“He held it together and there were one or two individual performances where boys stood up, but overall it was a difficult day.

“Rugby is about being aware. We have got to work on our defensive organisation. “We were all over the shop in defence today.”

Jones made seven changes to the side that lost 28-23 to Saracens, but did not feel that had a huge bearing on the game.

“The squad takes you through the season,” said Jones.

“We had to make changes and hoped that we had several ingredients that would have been able to hold us together, but that wasn’t the case.

“We have got a long season ahead of us with different tournaments.

“We have got Wasps away in two weeks’ time, which is a very important match for us.”

Jones will now have to raise his players’ spirits ahead of Saturday’s trip to Italy’s Cavalieri Prato.

He said: “I think the measure of a person is how he reacts in difficult situations.

“It will be interesting to see how people respond throughout the week.

“It is never pleasurable losing so badly. “The way we defended was probably the concern, but there was a lot of good in our game, believe it or not.”

OTHER RESULT AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP Pool 5: Grenoble 59, Cavalieri Prato 3.