Ryan Jones won his 60th cap for Wales – and 28th as captain – in their victory over Scotland earlier this month in the unfamiliar position of second row, with Alun Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris sidelined through injury.
Since then, Alun Wyn Jones, who spent three months out with a dislocated toe, has recovered to take his place alongside Ian Evans with Warren Gatland citing his World Cup form as key in his decision.
And such is the strength of the back-row, with Sam Warburton recovering to take the captaincy and join Dan Lydiate and No.8 Toby Faletau, that Jones has now found himself out in the cold.
And Alun Wyn Jones believes he has a hard task to justify getting the nod ahead of his Ospreys teammate.
“I didn’t really have any expectation to start, but I was just happy to be in the squad and thought I might feature off the bench. But obviously I feel fit and ready to go,” he said.
“I’ll take the spot, but off the back of his performances they are big boots to fill, I definitely feel for Ryan.
“It has been quite frustrating, but it is one of those things that happens. You can’t do any running or any cardio to a certain extent but those were the cards I was dealt.”
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