Business as usual for experienced Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones against Italy
Alun Wyn Jones intends making it a case of business as usual when he leads Wales into RBS 6 Nations action on Sunday.
Wales' Rome clash against Italy sees 105 times-capped Jones at the captaincy helm following his appointment as successor to record-breaking skipper Sam Warburton.
Warburton captained Wales in 49 Tests, a reign highlighted by two Six Nations title successes and a World Cup semi-final appearance.
But the baton has now passed to 31-year-old Jones, who, like Warburton, has captained the British and Irish Lions to victory in a Test match, achieving that feat in Australia during the 2013 tour..
And the change of leader is likely to be a seamless one, given Jones' revered standing on the international stage and his remarkable ability to produce consistent world-class performances.
"Hopefully, not too different," said Jones, when asked about the captaincy being added to his impressive career portfolio,
"If it was, I probably shouldn't be captain.
"I am a player first in terms of a job on the park.
"The captaincy obviously adds to that, and hopefully there is a bit of experience I have had in the past that I can lean on."
Jones is the only starting line-up survivor this weekend from the Wales team beaten by Italy in Rome 10 years ago, and he added: "I have had the experience to be out there and lose, so I know both sides of the coin.
"I said to Rob (Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley) that the pressure is on the team selected to go out there and perform."
Recent Six Nations history favours an emphatic Wales win - they topped 60 points on each of their last two Six Nations outings against the Azzurri - and with bonus points now available for the first time, a maximum haul must be the aim prior to next week's England showdown in Cardiff.
Thirteen of Italy's starting XV come from struggling sides Zebre and Treviso, suggesting the biggest challenge to Wales might prove to be testing weather conditions, with heavy rain forecast in Rome throughout the weekend.
Wales flanker Justin Tipuric added: "You have to win the games first, and then try to push on for the extra point.
"If teams try to play a bit more, it might open a few games up to the end of the competition, where you can see where you are and how many tries you need. Hopefully, it will make it more exciting.
"Hopefully, we can start with a bang and get into it from the word go. Hopefully, we can play some nice rugby in the right areas."
Whatever the weather at Stadio Olimpico, Wales' sole objective is to collect a win in their opening Six Nations fixture for only a second time since taking Grand Slam glory five years ago.
Howley said: "I was just thinking back to when we have started tournaments well and achieved momentum. That's our goal - to go over there and start this tournament well.
"Alun Wyn Jones made a fantastic point to me about the experience of the team, saying it puts pressure on those players who have been selected. We have picked experience, but they have to go out and play.
"The side that has been selected has about a 70 per cent winning ratio in the Six Nations. They know what winning looks and smells like in the Six Nations, and that's the challenge on Sunday."