Jones record intact against SA?
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:16
Alun Wyn Jones, who is set to captain Wales against South Africa, has said he would like to keep his perfect win ratio as captain intact.
Alun Wyn Jones, who is set to captain Wales against South Africa, has said he would like to keep his perfect win ratio as captain intact when they take on the Springboks.
The experienced lock is set to be asked to skipper his country against the Springboks in June with Sam Warburton missing the trip because of a shoulder injury.
Jones hasn't received the formal request as yet from Warren Gatland, but has admitted that he will tackle the responsibility head on if it comes his way.
The 28-year-old led the Lions across the finishing line in Australia, when Warburton was ruled out of the third and decisive Test in Sydney with a hamstring tear.
But despite having 78 caps to his name, Jones has only captained Wales twice – against Italy in 2009 and again this year, both of which ended in narrow victories.
“I’m 100 per cent against Italy on those two occasions, so if selected [for the South African tour], and if that happened [being made captain], I would like to keep that record intact,” Jones told Wales Online.
“It’s a real cliche, but I’m not going to worry about it.
“I am just going to focus on the last three league games with the Ospreys and staying fit and we’ll then take it from there.”
There had been questions about whether Jones should be rested during the tour after an arduous 12 months which has given him next to no opportunity to have a break from the game.
But Gatland has signalled his intention to take as strong a squad as he can to South Africa, and, despite looking jaded at times this term, Jones is adamant his energy levels are fine.
“I’m okay. I’ve got a few niggles but if you ask any player at this time of year then you are going to have those,” said Jones.
“I’m no different to anyone else. That’s where I’m at and I crack on.
However Jones’ Ospreys coach Steve Tandy believes his captain must be managed after identifying the Lions lock as a key figure for Wales’ World Cup campaign.
“He’s an amazing leader but I think we have to be careful how much he does play,” said Tandy.
“He doesn’t give anything less than 110 per cent, with all the off field work he does with youngsters, the drive he’s brought back.
“He’s won a Lions series and played for Wales in the autumn and in the Six Nations, yet he’s returned to the Ospreys and he’s still desperate to play and always displays huge energy in training.
“But we have to be careful how much rugby this bloke plays because he is huge for Wales heading towards the World Cup.