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Alun Wyn Jones: Wales need leaders not followers

New captain Alun Wyn Jones has declared "followers are for Twitter" in a bid to turn every Wales star into a leader.

Ospreys lock Jones hailed Sam Warburton's "graciousness" in relinquishing Wales' armband in a bid to recover his own top form.

But Jones also revealed he will not accept automatic selection in this season's RBS 6 Nations just because he now boasts the captaincy.

"In a way the captaincy is just a label, but I'm ready and able to make decisions as captain when needed," said Jones.

"But if we can grow more leaders in the team that we have, if we can get to the point where we're making similar decisions without having to consult with each other, that's a case of job-done, let's move onto the next challenge as a group and a team.

"I don't want followers: followers are for Twitter.

"Also, if I'm not playing well hopefully I'll still be available to be deselected. If that wasn't the case I wouldn't have accepted the captaincy.

"The graciousness that Sam (Warburton) has displayed has been good.

"Hopefully we've been a credit to the fact it shouldn't be about us it should be about the team.

"I've got to be comfortable in the people that I'm around, because there will be times when I'm not there.

"If we can get to a point where we're all on the same hymn sheet, then we'll be in a good place.

"I'm very, very conscious of the fact I've got to be playing very well to merit selection.

"I don't know if there's added pressure, I've captained sides at domestic level for a while now, and through some tough times, and I'm not ashamed to say that.

"I've enjoyed the challenge of it. It's elevated somewhat at national level, but hopefully time will tell as to how it goes.

"I want people that want to be led, then hopefully can make their own decisions and take care of their own department."

Wales confirmed they have failed in their bid to have the Principality Stadium classified as a closed-roof ground for the tournament.

Six Nations bosses rejected Wales' application to alter the status of their home ground, which would allow them to play every home game with a closed roof.

Wales will still need to gain the agreement of opponents in order to stage Six Nations matches with the stadium's roof closed.

Interim head coach Rob Howley said: "That decision is not going to change, that's something we wanted to have.

"We found out the result (on Tuesday) night. So we'll have a discussion in the week of the game, as has happened in the past."


From Belfast Telegraph