Alun Wyn Jones: 100 not out as Wales dare to dream in New Zealand

By Owen RawlingsBBC Wales Sport in Auckland, New Zealand
Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones made his Wales debut against Argentina on 11 June, 2006
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.

Lock Alun Wyn Jones puts his 100 Wales caps partly down to his relentless training, which has even seen him square up to team-mate Jamie Roberts.

Jones, 30, reaches the milestone at Eden Park on Saturday as Wales target a first win over New Zealand since 1953.

While lauding Ospreys' captain, Roberts admitted they had confronted each other a few times in training over the years.

Asked who won, British and Irish Lions forward Jones joked: "I backed down - have you seen the size of that head?"

New Zealand v Wales: Lock Jones reflects on 100 caps

Saturday's game in Auckland comes 10 years to the day since Jones made his Test debut in Argentina.

Since then he has won two Grand Slams, a Six Nations championship, three Pro12 titles and an Anglo-Welsh Cup.

He has also been capped six times by the Lions and had the honour of leading the 2013 tourists in their series winner in Australia.

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

Devoted to the cause

While describing his 100th cap as "just another game", the ever modest Jones says he sometimes sees his dedication to training as a badge of honour.

"It's got me into trouble at times as well, but I think that's what I've got to try and be," he said.

"A lot of people see the 80 minutes on the Saturday.

"They don't see the 40 minutes on a Monday, the hour on a Tuesday, the recovery which could be active on the Wednesday, and the Thursday and Friday session as well.

"I think every day is a selection day. I think it's a good ethos to have."

AWJ 100

It is perhaps that commitment which has led to a few run-ins with Roberts.

The centre commented: "I've squared up to him a few times in training, which have all been fun. But we're good mates now and we sit next to each other on the bus.

"He's a special bloke, a special player. He thoroughly deserves that accolade. He is a leader, a guy who as a senior member of the squad I still look to and think this guy sets the standards really in his energy he brings to the side."

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Regional roots

Jones has made 198 appearances for Ospreys and insists that is as significant, if not more so, as his latest milestone for Wales.

"For me, it's more noticeable what I've achieved in the black jersey with the Ospreys," he said. "Another two there and I've got 200 appearances for the Ospreys as well.

"That in a way is as meaningful to me as this because if I hadn't achieved with the Ospreys at a domestic level I'd never be here anyway.

"So it's a credit to all the people that have given me an opportunity from grassroots."

Alun Wyn Jones
Jones signed an extension to his national dual contract at Ospreys in January 2016

Career highlights so far?

"To date, it will obviously have to be the first cap and the Lions tour as well," said Jones.

"There are a couple of Grand Slams and a [Six Nations] championship in there, but it would have to be those two for significance.

"I always dreamt of getting one cap for Wales; I never dreamt of 100.

"I always wanted to play for Swansea - I play for the Ospreys now so that's close enough."

Alun Wyn Jones
Jones helped the British and Irish Lions end a 16-year wait for a series win with victory in Australia in 2013

What does the future hold?

Ospreys missed out on qualifying for next season's European Champions Cup and Jones says helping the region rebuild is one of his targets - while he also sets his sights on more international honours.

"It's going to be tough next year on a domestic level, it's probably something we needed.

"We draw a line in the sand and start again now with the Ospreys.

"And obviously the World Cup is there [in 2019]. I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to do that again, but those are definite itches that are my goals.

"We'll see what happens. I don't want much do I?"

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