Six Nations 2021: The England coach expects Wales captain Jones to ‘target’ his players


Kyle Sinckler and Alun Wyn Jones clashed in Cardiff in 2019
Kyle Sinckler and Alun Wyn Jones were teammates of the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand in 2017
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, February 27th Start the game: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer & Radio 5 Live, BBC Sport website and app, S4C

English coach Eddie Jones has warned his players to be wary of experienced Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones when the teams meet at the Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday.

Props Kyle Sinckler was fired early after pressure from Jones and his teammates, while England lost 21-13 in Cardiff 2019

“Sometimes he [Jones] has targeted players on our team, ”Eddie Jones said.

“We’ve talked about him and we understand what he’s going to try to do.”

Wales are unbeaten by narrow wins against Ireland and Scotland marked by red cards for respective strikers Peter O’Mahony and Zander Fagerson.

That’s why Wayne Beer’s team is seeking a triple crown against England, whose coach has called on his players to stay calm in front of a team led by 35-year-old Briton and Irishman Lion Jones.

“It’s just about maintaining composure and control,” Jones said.

‘Al really leads from the front’ – Pivac

Although the England coach is wary of the impact Jones could have on the match, fellow Pivac is delighted with the impact his iconic captain continues to have on Wales.

“On Tuesday afternoon (exam week), when we get a little physical, Al really leads off the front,” Pivac said.

“The conversations we have as a group are getting a little more intense; there are few smiles as we go through the sessions.

“Al is definitely a barometer from a coaching point of view.

“You hear me talk about it a lot, but he’s getting better with age. Honestly, if you saw him in training, you’d think his birth certificate had changed.

“I know that Alin’s focus and leadership is during training, in the classroom and when we have discussions about how we can improve our performance, how individuals can prepare well.

“Everyone understands their roles. No one wants to be that guy who falls two percent and costs us a big moment in the game.

“This performance boils down to one or two big moments.”

English boss Jones hopes his side edge will score those critical points in Cardiff, saying: “We are evolving into a smarter street team, but the game is about pressure situations

“While we all like to think we can handle any pressure situation, we can’t and that’s a great thing about playing rugby.

“I’m sure Alun Wyn Jones will look for those situations and we’ll have to deal with them.”

At their last meeting of the Six Nations, a Defeat for Wales by 33-30 at Twickenham in March 2020, the English center of Manu Tuilagi was shut down, and England ended with 13 people, while the guests ended with a boom.

England’s 24-13 victory at the Autumn Cup of Nations followed in Llanelli in November as Jones led his men to victory in that tournament.

But England succumbed to Scotland at Twickenham for the first time in 38 years in the inaugural round of Six Nations in 2021 and Jones hopes his men will mentally cope with what awaits in the Welsh capital.

“We know these games are going downhill and it’s about performing plays,” Jones said.

“They are tough competitions that come down to the last minute. We won there in 2017, basically on the bell.

“We had to win at Twickenham last year too, so we expect a similar game.

“You have to win games like this not once, but maybe two or three times. Wales will keep coming and coming. It’s going to be a great competition.”

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