After impressing fans who watch live rugby online in last season’s Six Nations Championship and forming the majority of the victorious Lions touring party over the summer it is easy to see why confidence is high in the Wales camp but Alun Wyn Jones is keen that his side don’t get ahead of themselves before their meeting with South Africa on Saturday.
Jones was an integral part of the Lions touring party, stepping forward to inherit the captaincy for Sam Warburton when he succumbed to injury, but now his sights are firmly set on Welsh success. The last time Wales met South Africa was in the group stages of the 2011 World Cup, where they were narrowly defeated 17-16 on their way to reaching the semi-finals, and, for Jones, Saturday’s game will show just how far his side have come in that time.
“We haven’t played South Africa for a long time and it would be dangerous to compare ourselves to them before we’ve done that, but these are the sort of games we need to measure ourselves,” the 28 year old said.
Despite going on to win last year’s Six Nations, Wales 2012-13 season got off to the worst possible start with five straight defeats, including losses at home to Argentina and Samoa but this year’s Welsh team look a far more formidable prospect, particularly after the experience that many of them gained down under and the intensity of the Welsh coaching regime.
“It hasn’t been a case of just getting everybody bigger, it has been making us more intense as a side,” Jones explained, dispelling the myth that recent Welsh (and Lions) success has purely been down to the increased size of the personnel. “We’ve had training sessions that have been more intense than some matches,” he added.
After starting last season so poorly, pundits giving out rugby tips online believe that Wales will surely have learned from their mistakes and they will be a much tougher proposition this time round. South Africa will have to be at their very best if they are to come away from the Millennium Stadium with anything on Saturday.