Wales World Cup selection pressure rising - Ryan Jones

Jonny Wilkinson

Ryan Jones has said time is running out for players to prove they should be part of Wales' squad for the World Cup.

Warren Gatland's side began their warm-up campaign with a 23-19 loss to England at Twickenham last weekend.

But Wales have a chance for revenge on Saturday when they face England again, but this time in Cardiff.

"There's only two Tests left to play before 30 guys board that plane, so it's paramount you do get some rugby under your belt," said forward Jones.

"You can do all the physical preparation you want but... until you've played three or four games of rugby you don't quite get up to speed and that's why this game time is so important.

"Selection is always subjective but I'd imagine you'll see a few changes from both sets of management this weekend as they look to give boys an opportunity, to see some different combinations."

Back-five forward Jones came off the bench at Twickenham to replace Toby Faletau at number eight and the 30-year-old Osprey earned praise from Gatland for his cameo performance.

"It was nice to get on, you always worry that if you're on the bench you may stay there for the 80 minutes," added Jones.

"I was given the opportunity to come on and for me it was about doing myself proud and trying not to let the boys down.

"In hindsight... you wonder whether it was one that got away.

"There were certain positives that we can take from it and certain individuals did themselves proud too, but it's not a win.

"If we can start the way we finished I think it'll be a very different encounter. But it's Wales-England at home in a packed Millennium Stadium and there's no such thing as a friendly.

"Going forward in the next couple of weeks it's important we get a couple of results, because that will allow the guys to step on that plane in September both physically and mentally ready for the challenge."

Gatland is due to cut the current 38-strong squad to 30, two days after they take on Argentina on 20 August in their final warm-up game.

Top Stories