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Jones thrilled with World Cup call

Wales number eight Ryan Jones is "over the moon" as he finally prepares to make his World Cup bow in New Zealand.

The former captain was a certainty to feature at the 2007 tournament until injury struck and it looked as though his injury jinx may have struck again when a calf problem saw him miss the warm-up wins over England and Argentina, but on Monday he was handed a place in Warren Gatland's final 30-man party.

He said: "I was over the moon when I got confirmation that I am on the plane. It was such a great day and it's something I always dreamed of doing and I am looking forward to. I can't stress enough how important and special this is to me and my family."

Jones expects to be fit for Wales' vital Pool D opener against South Africa in Wellington on September 11, and the 30-year-old cannot wait to be involved in the game's global showpiece.

He added: "Everyone speaks so fondly of it and New Zealand is a fantastic place to go and play.

"They have had some tough times out there with the recent natural disasters, but there will be such a warm reception.

"Rugby is such a special sport and we want to give something back to them and hopefully the public will embrace it."

The Ospreys forward, who will also provide a second-row option for Gatland in New Zealand, was desperate to be involved, but decided against sitting in front of the television to find out if he had made the cut.

"I went and had lunch with my wife in Monmouth. We had a day out," he said. "It was more escapism for me, to be honest. I didn't watch the telly or listen to it. I waited for my dad to text to say if I was in or not, so we could have ended up commiserating instead of celebrating.

"But you hope you have done enough over the recent weeks, and previous to that, to put yourself in the best possible position."

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