Alun Wyn Jones feels he is back to his best as he prepares to lock horns with the Springboks
Alun Wyn Jones feels he is getting back to his best as South Africa loom on the horizon.
Wales take on the Springboks at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday with Jones and lock-partner Bradley Davies set to take on arguably the world's best line-out operators.
The Welsh tight five have basked in the glory of widespread plaudits after their performance against Australia but the Springboks present a higher level of physicality.
And Jones, who locked horns with Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield during the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa last year, feels he is nearing his best and is relishing the prospect of taking the duo on.
"I'm pleased with my performance but there are a few things that I'd like to work on," said Jones.
"I feel I'm getting back to where I was after the hardest season of my career. My batteries have been recharged and the management at the Ospreys and Wales have ensured I've had a full pre-season and a good break.
"Bakkies and Matfield work well with each other. Bakkies is the grunt and Matfield the brains. They've proved their a good pairing over a long time.
"We know a lot about them and they know about us. I'm not daunted at the prospect of facing Bakkies Botha.
"He has a reputation that precedes him for the right or wrong reasons. Some of the things he has done in his career he probably hasn't meant. But he is the hard man of their team."
The Springboks edged to a 34-31 win over Wales in June and the Ospreys second-row believes it was a game Wales could and should have won.
"We had that game and felt we had done enough to win," said Jones.
"We feel the games we have lost recently have been down to our own errors rather than being completely outclassed."
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.