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Jones retains big ambitions

Alun-Wyn Jones admits that Wales' ambitions are "way beyond" what they achieved in the RBS 6 Nations Championship this season.

Wales went into European rugby's blue riband tournament with a stated aim of completing an unprecedented title hat-trick.

And while the 2011 World Cup semi-finalists ended it by posting an unbeaten home record, comprehensive away defeats against champions Ireland and Triple Crown winners England undermined their silverware hopes.

"We can be happy with three home wins, but obviously we are bitterly disappointed with the two away losses and performances," 78 times-capped Ospreys lock Jones said.

"Ireland was massively disappointing because we didn't get our game going, then against England we didn't take our opportunities.

"So it was a bit of mixed bag, but a few years back we probably would have been happy with three home wins.

"Our ambition is way beyond what we have done here. We've shown that in the past two years, and that is not going to wane. It just wasn't to be this time around."

Wales wound up their Six Nations season by crushing Scotland 51-3 on Saturday, scoring six of their seven tries after visiting full-back Stuart Hogg was sent off, as they triumphed by a record score for the fixture and claimed a biggest Millennium Stadium win since 2007.

"When the opposition go down to 14 men there are going to be more opportunities," Jones added.

"Saying that, Scotland didn't let us get out of our 22 for prolonged periods at times in the second-half, so we could have let it slip.

"But we didn't want to concede a try, and when you are that clinical with the opportunities that come along you can't really be too negative.

"It was pleasing we were so clinical, but it was also pleasing that a number of boys took their opportunities. Rhodri Williams came on at nine, Rhodri Jones started at three and Ken Owens figured at hooker, then 'Hooky' (James Hook) came off the bench.

"It's great for the squad that young people are putting their hands up, it's great for competition in the squad with the World Cup next year."

Wales' attentions will soon turn to a summer tour of South Africa, where they will face the Springboks in Durban and Nelspruit, and it is a trip that could see Jones leading his country.

Six Nations skipper Sam Warburton is awaiting the full diagnosis on a shoulder injury he suffered during the closing seconds against Scotland, but there are fears he might face a long lay-off.

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny is already sidelined from the South Africa mission due to a dislocated shoulder, and Warburton could become the latest big-name casualty.

"It is going to be a difficult ask," added Jones, assessing the tour.

"You can chuck in all the statistics you want about being jaded. We are going to get tired, anyway, because it's the end of the season. Summer tours are difficult from that point of view, anyway.

"It (fatigue) can be a convenient excuse, but there are a lot of people with different amounts of game-time. Some boys who travel may not have played a lot of rugby in this Six Nations, but they are still away from home, so it's different for everyone.

"If we (Ospreys) can get into the (RaboDirect PRO12) play-offs, happy days, because you are playing rugby for longer. You don't have the down-time and you are ready for another international.

"If you stop playing four or five weeks before the tour you have a week to get up to speed. We don't want to get caught cold like we were in the autumn. It's Catch-22, I suppose."

And as for the captaincy, Jones said: "I never worry about stuff like that.

"Ultimately, I have to be playing good rugby, finish the end of the season fit and deal with what I have to deal with domestically."

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