Alun Wyn Jones: Howley praises 'world-class' Wales lock

Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones receives treatment during Wales' November, 2016 win against Argentina
Under Armour Series: Wales v Japan
Date: Saturday, 19 November Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Rob Howley paid tribute to man-of-the-match Alun Wyn Jones after Wales' 24-20 win over Argentina in Cardiff.

Lock Jones, 30, returned to the team after missing the defeat by Australia following the death of his father, Tim.

"He certainly raised the level of our performance after what he's gone through in the past two weeks. What a player," said Howley.

"He's just a world-class player. He has the ability to bring players to another level."

Howley also highlighted Jones' off-field influence.

"The way he spoke in the week within the squad, he's a test match animal, as we call them, and to have him and Sam Warburton back in the squad certainly made a difference," said Howley.

Jones' return to win his 103rd Welsh cap was one of six changes Howley made to the team beaten 32-8 by Australia.

Liam Williams
Back from injury, Liam Williams challenges for the loose ball with Argentina's Matias Moroni

Another returning player who caught the eye was wing Liam Williams, who scored the first of Wales' two tries.

"I think it's probably called an X-factor, isn't it?" said Howley.

"He was unlucky a couple of times on the far side and he's he's taken his try particularly well.

Wales restored some pride, says Howley

"He's quick and he's elusive and I thought the back three worked well together."

Wales face Japan in Cardiff on 19 November, and Howley hinted he might make more changes for that match.

"There's no plan, but there's a few players over the age of 30 who might need a couple of rests," he added.

'Great entertainers - in the last 20 minutes'

Jones responded with a man of the match showing and the Ospreys lock admitted he and his team-mates had perhaps made the end of the game too nail-biting as Argentina were allowed to stay in touch.

"I think we turned into the great entertainers in the last 20 minutes of the game," said Jones.

"We knew we were pretty poor in the first game of the series so credit to all the people who turned up today.

"It was good to be back and I'm very fortunate to be part of a decent team.

"We've taken a lot of criticism and I could say, rightly so, but we've tried to prove people wrong."

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