British & Irish Lion Alun Wyn Jones admits he can’t help but raise his game during the festive derbies after helping the Ospreys to victory over the Scarlets on Boxing Day.
Jones, who skippered the Lions in the decisive third Test in Sydney this summer, turned in a man-of-the-match performance as the Ospreys sealed a 10-6 victory over their Welsh rivals.
The Scarets are due back at the Liberty Stadium next Friday and Jones admits these fixtures are among the highlights of his season.
“I think there was a bit of everything there” said Jones.
“Usually, the derbies go one of two ways; either you get a lot of rugby played and it’s unattritional or it’s attritional, you don’t get much rugby and it’s the battle of the boot.
“Sometimes we do put a little too much emotion, or emphasis, on these derby fixtures to the detriment of other games, but I do like the notion of playing them back to back, especially this time of year.
“When I grew up it was watching Llanelli v Swansea on Boxing Day, or when I was first in the academy it was Ospreys v Scarlets. These were the games I grew up watching and wanting to be involved in. It’s a great spectacle that should keep going.”