Tuesday 21 February 2017

Jones refuses to write off Munster as fading force

Published 12/05/2011 | 05:00

After being overlooked by Warren Gatland for the Welsh captaincy, Ospreys second-row Alun Wyn Jones is hoping to channel his frustration into his misfiring side's attempts to nab an unlikely back-to-back Magners League title double.

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"I could have given the job to Alun Wyn, but we wanted to develop some leadership within the group of talented youngsters we have in Wales," said former Ireland coach Gatland.

Jones has backed his coach's call but for now his focus is firmly on more immediate matters. Ahead of a fifth meeting between his side and Munster in this Saturday's Magners League semi-final, Jones refused to accept that the Irish side are a fading force.

"I don't know about that," he said. "They've had three wins against us this season, while we've had one against them, so I'm not going to say that.

"It most definitely is going to be a tough game. We've played them four times already and we know how to lose against them and how to win against them. It's going to be a tough ask for us."

Munster have barely sold half the tickets for Saturday's Thomond Park clash and Ospreys' struggles to reach the League play-offs reflect a sense that both sides are somewhat lost in transition.

"It's funny how people focus so much on the final third of the season when we have the top points scorer, are the top try scorers, have got the most bonus points and most points for," said Jones.

"Getting a play-off spot is an achievement in itself. But we are in the semi-finals now and there are two one-off games. We won't look any further than that. There's the possibility of the title, but first and foremost we'll focus on this game."

Irish Independent

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