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Jones wary of England's forward pack


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Article Published: Friday 24 February 2012


Wales prop Adam Jones has insisted that Wales are ignoring suggestions that they could bully England in their Six Nations match at Twickenham on Saturday.

Wales have long believed they've had the advantage over England in the backs but recent matches between the two sides have tended to see English superiority up front.

But after two rounds of the Six Nations, former Wales fly-half turned TV pundit Jonathan Davies believes his compatriots can now "smash" a youthful England side.

However, veteran front-row Jones is taking nothing for granted.

"With all due respect to Jiffy (Davies), I think he is getting a bit carried away," said Jones, who will win his 78th cap at the weekend.

"We are not listening to that. You watch the Premiership, and there are no small packs. England have players from Leicester and Saracens, clubs with good packs, and we have our hands full.

"They will definitely come at us, and, like any English team, they will have a good scrum and driving lineout.

"If you play in the Premiership and you are a weak scrummage, you are going to be found out.

"(Alex) Corbisiero does a fantastic job for London Irish, and Dan Cole is the only tighthead prop who has been that dominant in international rugby at such a young age. He's one hell of a player.

"But we are going to go there and try to dominate, and we're confident we can. It's going to be a battle."

Wales have won just once at Twickenham since 1988 -- a 26-19 victory four years ago in coach Warren Gatland's first game in charge that laid the platform for a coveted Six Nations Grand Slam.

Jones is one of only three survivors now in the starting XV from that 2008 clash -- the others are lock Alun-Wyn Jones and scrum-half Mike Phillips -- and knows better than most how much an England-Wales clash matters to rugby fans in the principality.

"As much as we are trying to calm ourselves down and keep a lid on it emotionally, this is a massive game and I'm sure the country is going to go a little bit mental," Jones added.

"When we won in 1999 at Wembley, it didn't matter that we had come fourth in the championship because we had beaten England, but I don't think we look at it that way any more.

"It's a big tournament, and England is the next step. England will be the be-all and end-all on Saturday, but I am not sure it's the same as it used to be."

Jones will have a relatively new hooker between himself and Gethin Jenkins, with Ken Owens making his first Test start after injuries ruled out Huw Bennett, Matthew Rees and Lloyd Burns.

"Gethin and I have played a lot of times together, and we will be looking out for Ken," Jones said.

"Ken is a very passionate Welshman. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and he will be right up for it. It will be a case of maybe cooling him down a bit.

"We try to play with quick ball, and they will try to stop it. We don't want to get drawn into a dogfight, but I fancy England will want to play a bit at the weekend."

 
 
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P W D L PF PA Ttl
1. Ireland 5 4 0 1 132 49 (+83) 6
2. England 5 4 0 1 138 65 (+73) 8
3. Wales 5 3 0 2 122 79 (+43) 6
4. France 5 3 0 2 101 100 (+1) 6
5. Scotland 5 1 0 4 47 138 (-91) 2
6. Italy 5 0 0 5 63 172 (-109) 0
Last update : 15/03/14
Updated each Monday in order to verify with officials
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