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Jones salutes youth role in Wales triumph

TRIPLE Grand Slam winner Ryan Jones has acclaimed Wales' thrilling young generation for playing a major role in securing the Six Nations title and Grand Slam.

Wales began their final game against France with seven players aged 24 or younger in the starting line-up.

And former Wales captain Jones, who joins Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies and JPR Williams in completing post-war Grand Slam hat-tricks, believes their contribution cannot be understated.

"We are a team that plays for 80 minutes - the Ireland and England games epitomised that," the Ospreys back-row forward said.

"This is about a group of guys growing. We have a lot of young guys in key positions who need experiences to grow, and you draw on those experiences.

"For a relatively young and inexperienced squad, they have brought a wealth and depth of experience and composure during this Six Nations.

"It is up to guys like me who aren't first choice at the moment to keep pushing the youngsters. When you have got experience, you have got a duty of care as well.

"They are good kids, and anything you can do to help them and help them develop and allow them to bring out the best for themselves - and likewise for the team - is rightly important."