WALES are “simmering” ahead of this weekend’s opening Six Nations clash with Ireland and confident of halting their disastrous seven-match losing streak.

That’s according to assistant coach Mark Jones who has joined caretaker boss Rob Howley’s staff for the duration of the tournament.

Scarlets attack coach Jones insists self belief is not a problem for the Grand Slam champions who haven’t won a match in eight months.

Since June’s Test win over the Barbarians, Wales lost a three-match series in Austra-lia before an autumn whitewash against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and the Wallabies again.

Jones, who won 47 Wales caps between 2001 and 2009, is upbeat Wales can throw the form book out of the window.

“We are confident of victory and we’ve got a very good, talented group of players,” he said.

“Yes, there are some established players who are unavailable due to injury, but I think we’ve got a great mix of players who have been playing in the Heineken Cup, the Ospreys in particular doing well and competing against Toulouse and Leicester.

“I think there are players who are simmering and I’m confident we can go out and put on a good display.

“I think if we can do that, we’ll have every chance of getting a positive result.”

Jones believes Wales’ poor run of defeats on the international stage could act as a powerful incentive. On George North’s dip in form recently, Jones confessed that the star wing wasn’t at the top of his game but he added he has the ability to turn things around quickly.

“He has played in a position where perhaps he hasn’t had the opportunity with his regional team the Scarlets to show his full potential,” he said.

“George hasn’t been playing his best but I’ve seen him come into the environment here and he looks like he’s sharp, he’s hungry to get hold of the ball so I’m hoping, weather permitting and good pitches, we’ll see the best of George if and when he is selected.”