Jones relishing captaincy challenge

Date published: February 3 2017

New Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones is hoping his country's change in leadership will be a seamless one when they face Italy in Rome on Sunday.

He has taken over the captaincy from Sam Warburton, who skippered Wales in 49 Tests which included two Six Nations victories and a semi-final appearance at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Jones is no stranger to the leadership role as he captain's his region, the Ospreys and has also skippered Wales as well as the British and Irish Lions – against Australia in 2013 – at Test level.

And he hopes to continue with his impressive performances in his new role as Wales' leader.

"Hopefully, not too different," Jones told Sporting Life, when asked about the added burden of captaincy.

"If it was, I probably shouldn't be captain.

"I am a player first in terms of a job on the park.

"The captaincy obviously adds to that, and hopefully there is a bit of experience I have had in the past that I can lean on."

Jones has played in more than a hundred Tests for his country and his experience will be vital against Italy this weekend.

"I have had the experience to be out there and lose, so I know both sides of the coin.

"I said to Rob (Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley) that the pressure is on the team selected to go out there and perform."