Six Nations 2020: Alun Wyn Jones says Wales do not lack respect for France

By Gareth GriffithsBBC Sport Wales
"It may fuel the fires for some"
Guinness Six Nations: Wales v France
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 22 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones has denied Wales have shown a lack of respect towards France before their Six Nations match in Cardiff on Saturday.

Prop Wyn Jones said he expected France's pack to "cheat" in their bid to gain scrum supremacy.

France coach Fabien Galthie responded by saying it was a "lack of respect" for his side and the nation but second-row Jones disagrees.

"If anything, it's completely the other way," said skipper Jones.

"They were not my words but I think they were borne out of respect for what French rugby has been about for many, many years.

"That is a dominant pack, flair behind. It's probably borne more out of respect than a lack of, but that's my perception.

"It's funny, I think the tone, context and language used can sometimes be ill-perceived. I wasn't at the original press conference but I think it may have fuelled the fire for some.

"Ultimately, we just want to conform to the laws and they're adjudicated accordingly."

French team manager and former hooker Raphael Ibanez also weighed into the argument, describing prop Jones' original comments as "a puerile attack".

Ibanez has also raised the selection of Wales fly-half Dan Biggar, who has been passed fit despite failing a head injury assessment during the defeat against Ireland.

It was a third time in five months Biggar had suffered a head injury following incidents against Australia and Fiji in the 2019 World Cup.

Biggar has been in full training since last week and has completed all concussion protocols, with Wales saying they sought the advice of a globally renowned concussion expert who reviewed the fly-half's return.

Wales say Biggar's health has been at the forefront of their decision-making process, stressing player welfare is their top priority.

Jones also raised how Ibanez worked with Wales national medical manager Prav Mathema during their time at Wasps.

"I'm not a doctor, so I couldn't answer any medical questions," said Jones.

"But it's interesting he says that because Prav was with him for two years at Wasps so I'm sure they'll have a conversation regarding that after the game.

"I'm not here to answer any medical questions. If he's been deemed fit, then I am assuming he's fit for the people who make those decisions."

Jones was talking before the traditional captain's run, the final training session before the Six Nations game in Cardiff.

Flanker Justin Tipuric sat out the first part of the session but Wales insist there are no issues regarding his fitness.

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