Jones: World Cup starts now for Wales
Alun Wyn Jones insists the World Cup starts in Dublin today after Wales face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
The Wales captain admitted Warren Gatland’s men are itching to jet out to Japan, with their World Cup opener coming against Georgia on September 23.
Today’s Dublin clash against Joe Schmidt’s Ireland represents Wales’ last hit-out before the global battle commences, leaving lock Jones desperate to get cracking.
“It has been a hectic week but we’ve still got a Test match to prepare for and we’ve done that; this game is good World Cup prep,” said Jones.
“We’re ready to play, without dwelling on the week - this is another game of rugby.
“There’s a bit of a lay-off after this before we take the field competitively, so this game is a good chance to see where we are.
“We’ll focus on the opportunity to play.”
Jones was rested for Wales’ 22-17 loss to Ireland in Cardiff last weekend, missing out on boss Gatland’s last match in charge at the Principality Stadium.
Now the Ospreys star cannot wait to sink his teeth back into Test action, after Wales named their 31-man World Cup squad last weekend.
“It was disappointing not to be involved in Gats’ last game at home,” said Jones.
“But it’s still an occasion here, with Rory Best and Joe Schmidt’s last one in Dublin.
“For us it’s more the start of the World Cup prep.”