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Wales ready to move forward - Jones


Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones is braced for a tough RBS 6 Nations challenge against France

Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones is braced for a tough RBS 6 Nations challenge against France

Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones is braced for a tough RBS 6 Nations challenge against France

Alun-Wyn Jones believes Wales have a golden opportunity to show their strength of character when they tackle RBS 6 Nations rivals France on Friday night.

While Les Bleus will arrive in Cardiff as unbeaten title contenders, Wales know they have to win or see hopes of landing an unprecedented third successive Six Nations crown effectively disappear without trace.

Jones and company have also got to do it on the back of a 26-3 thumping by Ireland in Dublin last time out, which was Wales' heaviest Six Nations defeat since 2006.

"We had a week off to rest, recuperate and get back on the horse, and that's what we intend to do," Ospreys lock Jones said.

"We were very disappointed with the performance (against Ireland) because, essentially, we didn't get going.

"Like Gats (Wales head coach Warren Gatland) said, it was one of the worst (performances) he's had during his tenure as coach.

"We have to move forward now and crack on with the game at hand. It's a massive opportunity for whoever is selected to put it right.

"It's an opportunity now to show the strength of character we have had, that the boys showed last year to win away in France and then (win) the tournament. It's not a carbon-copy of last year because we are playing them (France) at home, but it is a massive opportunity to get under way again.

"We are up against it at the weekend. but don't get me wrong, there are very few opportunities in your career you get to turn around and put your hand up and say 'look, we're still here, we're still fighting'.

"That is what we are going to try and do at the weekend. I can't promise you we are going to do it, but we are definitely going to make a good fist of it."

One area, among several, from Dublin where Wales must show a considerable improvement is their defence of the opposition's driving lineout.

Such a prolific attacking weapon led directly to a try for Ireland flanker Chris Henry, and Irish dominance in that area will not have gone unnoticed among the French coaching staff.

"It's difficult to defend against because once that ball is at the back of the maul, you can't get to it, pull it down, tackle it, sack it, once it's moving," Jones added.

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"That is why it is such a weapon. The rules, the way they are, are rightly weighted in favour of the attack.

"It's most definitely a case of stopping it at source. Stopping it at source was the goal, but we didn't do that. It's obviously going to be at the forefront, to stop it at source, against France.

"Any team that has coded us, taken a good look at us is going to point to it as an opportunity. Had we gone well against Ireland they would have done the same anyway. It's in the armoury of almost every team in the French league, and that is not going to change on Friday night.

"From a pack's point of view, we are bitterly disappointed with how the game went, and there is plenty to work on."

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