Wales hail Lion Jones

Wales have hailed the return to fitness of 2009 Test Lion Adam Jones ahead of their Six Nations defence. [more]

Wales hail Lion Jones

Wales have hailed the return to fitness of 2009 Test Lion Adam Jones ahead of their Six Nations defence.

The destructive tight-head prop has been sidelined for Wales since June and subsequently missed their disappointing Autumn whitewash.

But Jones returned for the Ospreys last month and has re-established himself as the cornerstone of the regions dominant back and Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde is delighted to have the 31-yearold back in the international fold.

"Adam has proven in his last few games for the Ospreys how big a weapon the scrum can become when he is playing tight-head," said McBryde, a Lion on the last tour to Australia in 2001.

"He's played a pivotal role in their recent results. He's in good shape, getting around the field and putting the work in.

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"It's a boost for everybody. The players around him really value his contribution. He's a big player for us."

Wales enter their Grand Slam defence, which kicks-off against Ireland on February 2, on the back of seven consecutive defeats.

But McBryde has urged wounded Wales to use their disappointment as the driving force of their Championship campaign.

"We've got to take the hurt and the pain from those summer losses to Australia and how close they were, as well as the autumn, and we've got to come out fighting," added McBryde.

"We're all in this together and looking to get off to a positive start against Ireland. There is pressure — it's international rugby and you have to get off to a flyer.

"The first game really dictates the rest of the competition, but we are not looking any further than the Irish game. It will be a huge test for us.

"In the Six Nations the weight of expectation is on everybody, especially for the first game."

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