New Zealand v Wales: Alun Wyn Jones sets standards in squad, says Warren Gatland

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As he prepares to make his 100th appearance for Wales, lock Alun Wyn Jones is praised by head coach Warren Gatland.
New Zealand v Wales (first Test)
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 11 June 2016 Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport app, Connected TV, and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Warren Gatland says Alun Wyn Jones is the benchmark of excellence in his squad as the British and Irish Lions lock prepares to win his 100th Wales cap against New Zealand on Saturday.

Jones, 30, made his debut in 2006 and has won two Six Nations Grand Slams.

Wales coach Gatland hopes his side can make it a special night at Eden Park as Wales look for a first win over the world champions since 1953.

"Hopefully we can do some justice to the occasion," he said.

Wales' summer fixtures:
11 June: New Zealand (Auckland)
14 June: Chiefs (Hamilton)
18 June: New Zealand (Wellington)
25 June: New Zealand (Dunedin)

Ospreys captain Jones, who has also won six caps for the British and Irish Lions, becomes Wales' fifth centurion.

Gatland continued: "He's been a tremendous servant to Welsh rugby. He really deserves this. To achieve this milestone is something pretty special.

"He's been a constant for us in terms of his leadership.

"He's often the benchmark in terms of setting the standard, demanding excellence in training, pushing the other players. He's a very special part of this team.

"He's definitely matured as a player, a lot calmer now than he was as a tempestuous youngster."

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Gatland hopes Jones' decision to sign a national dual contract (NDC) at Ospreys will help the second row continue to flourish on the international and regional scene.

"The great thing about him is that he's stayed in Wales and he's signed an NDC," he said.

"Part of that is the longevity of his career and managing him over the next three to four years, particularly to the 2019 World Cup.

"Hopefully Welsh rugby will get a huge amount of benefit, not just us but the Ospreys [too]."

Wales have lost 26 consecutive games against the All Blacks, while the Kiwis are unbeaten at Eden Park since 1994.

The match will be New Zealand's first since beating Australia 34-17 in the 2015 World Cup final.

Head coach Steve Hansen has named a side showing six changes from that victory at Twickenham in October.

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