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."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.