The former Wales captain, now the national team’s attack coach, was impressed with the quality of the Ospreys lock’s words to his colleagues ahead of tomorrow’s clash in Nelspruit as Wales look to make amends for failing to turn up for much of their 38-16 defeat in Durban.
He is very selfless and knows the game, the way he spoke passionately about playing for Wales and what it means to him summed things up quite poignantly
“We have to make sure our attitude is spot on this week and Alun Wyn Jones spoke superbly in the team room this morning,” said Howley. “He has been excellent taking over from Sam Warburton over the last three weeks.
“He has led maturely and says things at the right time, and we do not want to leave South Africa without showing them the best of Wales, and that was not the best of us last week.
“He is very selfless and knows the game, the way he spoke passionately about playing for Wales and what it means to him summed things up quite poignantly.”
Few have given Wales a chance in the second Test against the rampaging Springboks with head coach Warren Gatland making just two changes from the first Test, but Howley is convinced having more time to prepare for this match compared to the first outing will give the players a better chance of getting a positive result.
“This is the last game, you have your summer holidays and then it is still nearly five months until we are back together for the autumn,” he added.
“It is a long time and you do not want to be thinking ‘what if we had prepared or done something different?’ but this is the challenge for us. We need to show we are a better team than we showed last week.
“We need to be more competitive in all areas because they were vastly superior in the majority of areas. We have to be more clinical at key moments and look to put them under pressure in a way we were not able to last week.”
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