Six Nations 2013: Jones warns Wales to be wary of French fightback

Six Nations 2013: Wales stand-in captain Ryan Jones warns his side to expect a French backlash in Paris on Saturday

rob howley
Rob Howley is the interim Wales head coach Photo: National Assembly For Wales

rob howley

Stand-in skipper Ryan Jones has warned Wales to expect a French backlash in Paris on Saturday as Les Bleus look to bounce back from their opening-round Six Nations defeat against Italy.

With Sam Warburton ruled out with a shoulder injury, Jones will captain his country for the 30th time – extending his own record – at the Stade de France.

Jones was absent with a thumb injury as Wales, largely thanks to a dismal opening half hour, began their Six Nations campaign with a 30-22 defeat against Ireland.

And despite not being a part of that Millennium Stadium defeat the Ospreys back-row is warning his troops to hit the ground running in Paris.

Wales have only won three times in the French capital since 1975 and Jones, one of three changes to the starting line-up, said: “France are going to come out smarting, and it is going to be a pretty fierce opening, but you wouldn’t expect anything else from France in Paris.

“It’s about us maintaining belief, keeping our composure and a cool head and making sure we play the way we train.

“I’ve been in changing rooms like the one last week, and I’ve been in successful ones as well. One thing we’ve said this week is about picking your chin up and knuckling down.

“As you get older, you have that experience to draw upon. You train and prepare as if you are playing, and when called upon it is down to you to do a job. Have boots, will travel.

“Paris is a wonderful place to go – it’s a great rugby arena. There is nothing quite like playing France in Paris. It’s loud, it’s noisy.

“Something we have tried to instil in the guys this week is to look forward to it, be bold and let’s have a real good crack.”

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