Otago Daily Times

Jones poised to equal test record

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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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