Alun Wyn Jones wary of English power
LOCK Alun Wyn Jones believes Wales have to up their game considerably if they are to stop the Eng-land juggernaut at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The Ospreys second row was superb in his side’s 28-18 win over Scotland at Murrayfield, which the visiting pack dominated.
Jones, 27, justified his selection over Newport Gwent Dragons’ Andrew Coombs with one of the finest performances of his career.
He was Wales’ top lineout man with six takes, second best tackler and joint best ball-carrier in a dynamic display.
But the 2009 Lions star, starting his first Test match since the defeat to Argentina in November after suffering a shoulder injury, isn’t about to rest on his laurels.
“There’s a bit to do, probably. It wasn’t a great game for us attack-wise, with a lot of kicking and a lot of scrums, even though the set piece was a major positive for us, as it has been throughout the tournament,” he said.
“It’s just about realising what’s at stake next week.”
Jones paid tribute to man of the match Sam Warburton, who was simply sublime. The openside flanker was back in the starting XV at the weekend after missing the victory over France in Paris and coming on as a replacement in the triumph over Italy in Rome after recovering from a stinger injury.
“Sam had a good game. Very much so. He was back on the front foot and the turnovers started coming around the 60-minute mark,” Jones said.
“We were a little disappointed we didn’t get in a few more points with the territory we had, but we got the turnovers when we needed them.”
And how did he feel after his first full Test match after recovering from his injury?
“I’ve had three months off – I’m not allowed to be tired now,” he said.
“I was pretty fortunate to have played in the game against Munster last weekend (the Ospreys drawing 13-13 in Thomond Park).
“I wanted to play in that match because I hadn’t had much rugby, and I was lucky the ball-in-play time was so high, around 41 minutes.
“You know when you come up to play Scotland in Murrayfield they’re looking for the ball to be in play for 40 minutes-plus.
“The Munster game was played at Test-match speed, especially in the first half. They were playing wide a lot, with a lot of ball in play, and it was good preparation. I was lucky with the way the fixtures fell after my return.”