Wales are improving – Jones


Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Lock Alun-Wyn Jones believes Wales are “growing” into this season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Jones and company will head to Paris later this week for an appointment with France, knowing that a fourth successive Six Nations win against Les Bleus would keep alive title aspirations.

Wales would still require other results to work in their favour, but they are undoubtedly on the recovery trail, bouncing back to beat Scotland following an opening game loss to Millennium Stadium visitors England earlier this month.

“After the obvious disappointment of the first game, especially the second half, we have grown,” Jones said.

“We are growing into the tournament. We need to get out of the blocks and stay out there.”

For their part, France edged past Scotland in their opening fixture, but then came unstuck against reigning Six Nations champions Ireland in Dublin.

And while Wales’ recent record against Les Bleus is a good one, next Saturday’s clash undoubtedly has an unpredictable nature to it.

“They (France) have the capacity to turn it on, and if they do, they are dangerous,” Jones added.

“If you get out of the blocks and stay there, you will be in good fettle against them, while if you are in a tussle and they go up a gear, it’s hard to match them.

“It’s never easy, and French club sides are notorious for driving maul and set-piece dominance. They take great pride in that, and you can see that from the campaign so far.

“We’ve lost a few lineouts, and there has been a bit of individual error, but we are a pack of eight and have to keep working. But on the whole, we are pretty pleased.”

In addition to reeling off three Six Nations wins on the bounce against France, Wales did not concede a try in any of those games, but Wales defence specialist Shaun Edwards has no doubt that Les Bleus possess an ability to focus the mind.

“They are a massive rugby nation – they have so many talented players,” Edwards said. “They could put a strong second or third team out, a bit like England.

“The fact is that we are on edge against France, because if we are not, they will punish us.

“If we lose next Saturday, we know we are pretty much out of winning it (Six Nations). If we pull it off in France, we are still in with a chance.

“I actually thought they (France) could have won the game against Ireland (nine days ago).

“Ireland dominated the first-half and France didn’t have one ruck in the Irish 22 in the first half, but second half – in the last 20 minutes – I thought France played some magnificent rugby.”

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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