Jones backs James

Adam Jones is backing Paul James to shine for Wales in the absence of Gethin Jenkins. [more]

Jones backs James

Adam Jones is backing Paul James to shine for Wales in the absence of Gethin Jenkins.

Jenkins will miss at least the first two 6 Nations’ fixtures after sustaining knee ligament damage in Cardiff Blues’ Heineken Cup win over Racing Metro last weekend.

Ospreys prop James is expected to join Jones in the front row for the trip to Ireland a week on Sunday and the Lions tight-head is convinced his regional team-mate will do a good job.

"Paul has always done very well when he has been called upon," said Jones, who was part of an all-Welsh front row alongside Jenkins and Matthew Rees on the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.

"He is a different type of prop to Gethin in that he is a bit more set-piece orientated, while Gethin is like having an extra back-row forward on the field. So what we lose in one area we gain in another.

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"They are both good all-round players and I have no doubt that Paul will make sure we are not weakened in that area."

Wales have called up veteran fly-half Stephen Jones to their squad ahead of the mouth-watering clash in Dublin as Rhys Priestland continues to struggle with a knee injury. The double Lions tourist, who has now won 104 caps for his country, had initially been left out of the 35-man squad after falling behind Priestland and James Hook in the pecking order.

Priestland’s slower than expected recover is yet another blow for Wales coach Warren Gatland who is already without second row duo Luke Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones and faces an anxious wait on the fitness of first-choice blindside Dan Lydiate and star centre Jamie Roberts.

Those setbacks have made an already difficult task at the Aviva Stadium even more challenging and Adam Jones admits Wales will have to be at their best against an Irish side made up of players heading into the international window full of confidence following fine Heineken Cup outings over the past two weekends.

"We know in Dublin that we will have to turn up and be at the top of our game," added Jones.

"It is going to be pretty tough as they are very good in Dublin. They showed that with the way they gave England a mauling last year.

"Their provinces have done very well and the guys who play for Leinster and Munster, they know how to win big games and they will be on a high.

"We know they will be coming in with an element of revenge (after Wales won the World Cup quarter-final between the two teams) – we have seen what Paul O'Connell has had to say.

"We are confident after what we did at the World Cup but we have to remember that we also lost three games out there. We got to the semi-finals but we did not achieve what we set out to do."

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