Jones: Wales won’t need motivation

Wales captain Stephen Jones believes pride and mental toughness will drive his side onto a crucial victory over Italy and see them avoid the wooden spoon. [more]

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Wales captain Stephen Jones believes pride and mental toughness will drive his side onto a crucial victory over Italy and see them avoid the wooden spoon.

Wales are rooted to the bottom of the RBS 6 Nations table after Saturday’s 32-21 defeat to France and the Italians’ remarkable win in Scotland.

Jones has now captained Wales to four straight defeats, dating back to the New Zealand game in November, but he is convinced there is no shortage of belief or confidence in the camp.

And with the Italy clash on March 10 shaping up as a potential wooden-spoon decider the captain declared: "Motivation is not a problem for this side.

"We experienced a huge setback two weeks ago. A lot of things were written and said about us as a team. The guys took that performance on the chin.

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"But here we took a huge step in the right direction – we’re bitterly disappointed to have lost to France but from a rugby point of view we’re back to our old ways.

"We played a lot better and the performance was far more efficient. We know there are things that aren’t right in our game but we’ll keep working.

"Motivation is not a problem and the boys will be up for the Italian game. They will look forward to a challenge because the Italian side at the moment are a very good side."

Jenkins and Martyn Williams have both conceded Wales may well be considered underdogs when they arrive at the Stadio Flaminio.

Italy were courageous, physical and determined against Scotland and will have been buoyed by their first away win in the history of the championship.

Williams said: "Italy are a top side and they were outstanding in beating Scotland, which we weren’t able to do two weeks ago.

"We took a lot of flak after the Scotland game and rightly so, but we are a young side and we felt there was a big improvement against France.

"We out-scored them three tries to two and our defence has been the big plus in the last two games. We put the pride back in the shirt.

"We will probably go into that match in Rome as underdogs but we have two games left and we know we can win both of them."

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