Otago Daily Times

Jones poised to equal test record

- Sports · Rugby · Cardiff · France · Paris · British & Irish Lions · Richie McCaw · Wayne Pivac · Aaron Wainwright · Toby Faletau · Jonathan Davies · George North · Leigh Halfpenny

CARDIFF: Wales cap­tain Alun Wyn Jones will equal the world record for most test caps when he leads the side against France in Paris to­mor­row.

The lock will play his 148th test, which in­cludes nine for the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Li­ons, to move level with All Black great Richie McCaw, and will have the chance to take the out­right top spot when Wales hosts Scot­land in the Six Na­tions the fol­low­ing week­end.

‘‘It is a fab­u­lous achieve­ment,’’ Wales coach Wayne Pi­vac said.

‘‘He epit­o­mises what a great rugby player is all about. He is a true pro­fes­sional on and off the field and a gen­tle­man of the game.

‘‘On the field he leads by ex­am­ple and you can’t ask more of your cap­tain and we are very priv­i­leged here in Wales to have him.’’

He will form a sec­ond­row part­ner­ship with Cory Hill, who makes a first start for Wales in more than 18 months.

The front row com­prises Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias and Sam­son Lee; Aaron Wain­wright and

Justin Tipuric are on the flanks, and Taulupe Fale­tau is at No 8.

Half­back Rhys Webb will feed first five­eighth Dan Big­gar.

Nick Tomp­kins and Jonathan Davies are in the cen­tres while Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Half­penny make up the back three.

‘‘The play­ers are ex­cited. It has been a long time; we can’t wait for Satur­day,’’ Pi­vac added.

‘‘We have six matches this au­tumn and the game against

France helps us get back into our stride in­ter­na­tional rug­by­wise.

‘‘We have picked an ex­pe­ri­enced side and are up against a good French team so we want to start this au­tumn well and get on the front foot for the Six Na­tions fix­ture against Scot­land.’’

Teenage wing Louis ReesZam­mit has been named on the bench, but is likely to make his de­but at some stage dur­ing the game. — Reuters

 ?? PHOTO: VIA AP ?? Cap­tain fan­tas­tic . . . Alun Wyn Jones holds the Six Na­tions tro­phy after Wales won it last year.
PHOTO: VIA AP Cap­tain fan­tas­tic . . . Alun Wyn Jones holds the Six Na­tions tro­phy after Wales won it last year.

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