Alun Wyn Jones: Wales captain can make 2023 World Cup says coach Wayne Pivac

Pivac hails 'incredible' all-time great Jones

Head coach Wayne Pivac says he believes captain Alun Wyn Jones will make a fifth World Cup after the pair led Wales to 2021 Six Nations success.

Jones will be 38 at the next global tournament in France in 2023.

The lock is already the world record cap holder with 148 internationals for Wales and a further nine Tests for the British and Irish Lions.

"I think he is good enough to go to the World Cup personally," Pivac told the Scrum V podcast.

"Time will tell but my gut tells me that he is good enough to do that."

The 35-year-old could join Samoa's Brian Lima and Italy duo Sergio Parisse and Mauro Bergamasco in playing in five World Cups.

His current contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and Ospreys ends this summer, when he is in line to tour a fourth time with the British and Irish Lions on the trip to South Africa. Pivac expects him to continue next season.

"Al is not going anywhere as far as I know, unless he is having me on!" said Pivac.

"Al and I know exactly where he is at. His body is in great shape and he looks after himself.

"What we have to do is just make sure between the Ospreys and ourselves, we don't overuse him. People will talk about his age but what I would say is what we see is what he does in training and what he is capable of.

"He has been relentless. Since I have known him he has not changed anything in terms of his preparation for training sessions.

"His routines are the same and he does not take any shortcuts. He is a leader physically in everything we do in training so there is no drop off at all.

"To see the way he played in the Six Nations with eight weeks out injured and having no live rugby until the opening game against Ireland is incredible."

Wales coach Wayne Pivac says it's been a special Six Nations for Wales

Road to 2023 World Cup

Meanwhile, Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Steve Phillips says Pivac has his backing through until the 2023 World Cup.

Pivac had a break clause in his four-year contract this summer and was under pressure after a disappointing 2020, with three wins in 10 matches and a fifth place in the Six Nations.

Phillips insists Pivac has proved he is the man with the long-term vision of delivering success in France.

"Wayne has the 2023 Rugby World Cup firmly in his sights and a comprehensive plan for Wales to arrive there at the peak of our powers, with the full backing of the Welsh Rugby Union to achieve that aim," said Phillips.

"We meet after every campaign to discuss how we are tracking against any plan.

"We met after the Autumn Nations Cup, a campaign - as stated publicly by management at the time - which was about giving players the opportunity to experience Test rugby and to management the opportunity to see how they fared.

"Wayne was equally unambiguous about his distinction between the autumn and the Six Nations, where we would be playing tournament rugby and results mattered.

"If silverware was the only measure then winning both the Triple Crown and the tournament itself can be viewed as 'mission accomplished'."

Phillips insisted the WRU and Pivac always took the long-term view: "It is important we assess our progress in a considered way.

"In professional sport it is possible to go from hero to zero and back again in a fortnight.

"To avoid 'knee-jerk' reactions we measure progress against short and long-term goals. Wayne, the management and players are, by any measure, progressing extremely well.

"Winning the championship this year was a short-term goal, but we have been equally impressed by what was achieved this autumn when the stall was set to blood new players, improve strength in depth and bed in a new and varied approach to tactics and game plans.

"So Wayne and his management team and players have delivered."

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