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Jones relishing prospect of forwards battle against Ireland

Jones relishing prospect of forwards battle against Ireland

Jones relishing prospect of forwards battle against Ireland

Wales prop Wyn Jones is relishing the prospect of getting stuck into a hard-fought forwards battle against Ireland on the opening night of the Autumn Nations Cup.

Wayne Pivac’s men kick off Group A with a trip to Dublin on November 13 looking to reverse a run of five straight defeats – two of which have come since their return to international action post-lockdown, against France and Scotland.

And Jones, who earned his 26th cap off the bench in the 14-10 reverse against Scotland on Saturday, is looking forward to fronting up against a physical Irish outfit as Wales go in search of an upturn in fortunes.

“We know the threats Ireland bring,” said the 28-year-old. “They’re a very forward-orientated team.

“We’re excited to get back out there and this weekend is the one you didn’t really want off.

“After losing you want to get back out there and right the wrongs.”

The Scarlets prop believes the lack of supporters in Dublin could benefit the visitors, who will not have to overcome the usual noise of the passionate home crowd due to the game being played behind closed doors.

Wales are also playing in unfamiliar surroundings – though not for Jones, whose home ground is Parc y Scarlets – due to Principality Stadium being used as a field hospital but the front-rower believes home advantage will not play such a crucial role in these unusual circumstances.

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“It’s always difficult wherever you play Ireland, home or away,” he said.

“With no crowds it is much less of an advantage for the home team. Sometimes you might find it easier to play.

“Home advantage is much less of an advantage now.”

Wales will also take on Georgia and England in Group A before Finals weekend, with all four rounds played over consecutive weeks.

The upcoming weekend’s rest and recuperation will therefore be crucial for Jones and Wales, who will hope to return to action refreshed after a below-par Six Nations campaign which saw the 2019 Grand Slam champions drop to fifth.

“International rugby is hard on the body and sometimes it’s good to get a weekend off to shake off some bumps,” he said.

“Some boys have put two big shifts in and need some time to recover.

“It’s always nice to have a week off in the middle to get ready for next week.”

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