We've put a target on our back, says Wales captain Jones

By Ben Spratt 17 March 2019 158
We've put a target on our back, says Wales captain Jones

Alun Wyn Jones believes Wales have put a target on their backs ahead of the Rugby World Cup by winning the Six Nations Grand Slam.

Wales defeated reigning champions Ireland 25-7 in Cardiff on Saturday to seal an unbeaten campaign and the title, flying out of the blocks at the Principality Stadium to take control of their destiny.

Warren Gatland's men were not always convincing in the competition - notably trailing France at half-time in their opener - but they have now won 14 consecutive games.

While Jones acknowledged Wales' occasional shortcomings, he now knows that they will be a scalp for any team at the World Cup in Japan.

"There's more than self belief, there's character at times," he told BBC Sport. "We're not going to shy away: we've been pretty unconvincing at times as well.

"We like to think there's more potential within us. But we're more than well aware that we've just put a big target on our backs."

Warren Gatland is set to depart Wales, with Jones saying his side will miss the coach who guided them to this triumph.

"[Gatland's approach] filters down. He's the man at the top," Jones added.

"We've been under pressure, he's been under pressure. But he's always been unwavering and pretty unflappable really - although it's easy to say that off the back of a win.

"He's got a bit left on his contract, but I'm sure we'll miss him when he's eventually gone."

Gatland had spoken ahead of Saturday's match of Wales thriving under the pressure and Gareth Anscombe says they did just that.

"We wanted to enjoy it," he said. "We have the best stadium in the world in front of our people. We wanted to take the game to them.

"We started well. Once you get behind in these tricky conditions, it's tough to pull back."

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