Monday June 27, 2022

Alun Wyn Jones’ second row colleague Adam Beard has said the 150-capped legend is providing plenty of motivation in training ahead of their South African tour.

After an injury ruled him out of almost all of the Six Nations, Jones lost the Welsh captaincy and only made his return in their dreadful defeat at home to Italy.

But despite that, and the fact he has just entered the 17th year of his international career, the Ospreys man appears as hungry as ever according to his fellow lock.

Beard said: “[Jones] is always the one setting standards, pushing the boys along.

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“You can see the enthusiasm and everything he has around the squad. He is the the one driving it, always chatting, and he is enjoying his rugby.

“He might prefer to be captain, he might not, I am not too sure. It might take a little bit of pressure off him not being the captain, but you just know the leadership roles he has anyway.

“He might not have the captain’s armband, but he is still the one leading the enthusiasm, squad ethics and stuff like that.”

Wales were edged out 23-18 in their Autumn International against South Africa that they led for large periods

Winless in all ten fixtures they have played against the Springboks in the Rainbow Nation, and with just four wins in the last 12 months, Wales come into the series as massive underdogs.

But for Beard, that serves as even more motivation, and is a space that the country appears happy to occupy.

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“Going into this tour, nobody has given us any sort of chance to go out there and get a victory against South Africa,” he said, “As a Welsh nation, we thrive under those circumstances.

“We were three points away from beating South Africa and being in a World Cup final three years ago and last autumn we were unlucky not to get a victory.

“There is no better opportunity now to dust off what has happened, get on this tour and prove a point to everyone who is doubting us.”

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