Jones knows derby win is vital

Date published: November 28 2015

Ospreys second-row Alun Wyn Jones admits there is more at stake than bragging rights when they face Cardiff Blues in Swansea on Saturday.

The Welsh international will be facing off with his team-mates from the recent World Cup and knows the derby clash won't be a friendly affair.

Jones' men return to the PRO12 after a fine display at Clermont where they sealed two bonus-points while Cardiff lost at home to Harlequins.

But now it is back to business in the league and a Welsh derby is sure to offer plenty of spice between two regions desperate for four points.

"They know a lot about us, we know a lot about them," Jones told Wales Online ahead of the fixture.

"Quite a few of us have just spent a couple of months in each other's back pockets in various places, whether it be Doha or Switzerland.

"Ryan Jones used to put it the right way: it's either going to be an attritional affair that everyone calls a poor derby, or it's going to be end-to-end stuff.

"I don't think it will be really difficult to play against the Blues' Wales boys. For us, it's about coming back here and climbing the table. You can't really focus on what's gone and who you've done what with.

"It's back to the day job and trying to do everything we can to move the Ospreys forward."

Ospreys are currently eighth in the standings while the Blues sit eleventh as it's an Irish one, two, three at the top of the PRO12 heading into Saturday's games.

And it's because of the league situation that Jones knows a win is a must for his side, despite all of the other positives of a derby result.

"When it comes to bragging rights – great," he added.

"But I think there is probably more at stake in terms of the league positions of the two sides.

"They are in eleventh, we are eighth. Both sides are in a similar position in the league and we are not going to make excuses about it, but we both find ourselves needing wins in order to climb the table, get past the sixth spot and then keep going.

"The start we've had in the league hasn't been great and I suppose making the top six would be like getting to a quarter-final in Europe: it would be great, but you'd still want a bit more.

"There's a lot of games to come, including quite a few home ones after Christmas. The next month or so is going to be tough – Blues at home in the league, Zebre away, Bordeaux back-to-back in Europe, Scarlets away, Dragons home.

"If we can get a few wins there it will improve our position. The key thing is we realise where we are and what we are going to do over the next few months."