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Preview: Lock battle key in Wales v Scotland

Preview: Lock battle key in Wales v Scotland

As Wales prepare to host Scotland in the second round of this year’s Six Nations, the Principality Stadium crowd will witness a second-row battle to remember, with Jonny Gray determined to help the Scots bounce back from an opening day defeat to England.

"I've not played at the Principality before but I remember watching loads of games there on TV while growing up."

As Wales prepare to host Scotland in the second round of this year’s Six Nations, the Principality Stadium crowd will witness a second-row battle to remember, with Jonny Gray determined to help the Scots bounce back from an opening day defeat to England.

If Scotland are to win, they will need a big performance from Gray as he takes on Alun Wyn Jones, the heartbeat of the Welsh pack and two-time British & Irish Lion.

Jones, 30, was as consistent as ever for Wales last week in Dublin, putting in 16 tackles in a physical encounter at the Aviva Stadium.

As for Gray, since making his international debut against South Africa in 2013, he has gone on to become a regular in the Scottish engine room, forming a solid partnership with older brother Richie.

At just 21 years old, Gray has already made 20 Test match appearances for Scotland, and is determined to turn his country’s fortunes around when he takes to the Principality Stadium field for the very first time in his career.

"I've not played at the Principality before but I remember watching loads of games there on TV while growing up,” said Gray, who became captain of Glasgow Warriors in November.

"We looked at the game [against England] and obviously everyone was disappointed.

"But I think the reaction has been great. We have trained well and hopefully we can carry that on. We were very honest with each other on Monday and we all said to each other we need to get better moving on.

"There was no blame. It was about getting everyone together and moving forward."

Wales saw their Grand Slam hopes ended with a draw in Dublin last time out, but have a great record against the Scots in recent seasons.

Their last loss in the fixture came back in 2007 and skipper Sam Warburton is hoping to continue that run at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

"It was the first game in the Six Nations, it was always going to be a bit rusty,” said the 2013 British & Irish Lions captain.

"I am certain we will be better next week and the week after.

"It is about getting used to that international tempo and I am sure you will see more of us in attack.

"We have got three home games out of four now, and they are must-win matches.”
 
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