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Jones ready for French threat
Jones ready for French threat
7 February 2013 15:06pm
By Alex Bywater
Ryan Jones leads Wales for the 30th time against France
Ryan Jones says he can't wait for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with France as he prepares to lead his country for the 30th time.
It's going to be a fierce opening encounter but you wouldn't expect anything less from France in Paris
The Ospreys man is one of three changes for the game in Paris and captains Wales in place of the injured Sam Warburton.
Elsewhere, Richard Hibbard comes in for Matthew Rees at hooker while Justin Tipuric teams up with Jones and Toby Faletau in the back row.
Jones' return after a thumb problem will provide Rob Howley with huge experience in the Welsh pack and he says he can't wait for kick-off.
"It's a wonderful place to go. There's nothing quite like playing France in Paris," said Jones.
"It's loud, it's noisy but it's a great place to go. We've installed the boys this week to look forward to it, be bold and have a real good crack.
"It's going to be a fierce opening encounter but you wouldn't expect anything less. It's about making sure the 15 guys are ready to go but making sure we stay calm."
Jones missed Wales' 30-22 defeat to Ireland last weekend with injury but has been passed fit for the clash at the Stade de France.
And he says he is fit and raring to go for the meeting with Philippe Saint-André's side.
"I was disappointed it didn't come right last week but the extra week has been great for me and I'm more than happy," Jones added.
"We've picked the bones out of last week. There's only so much you can change, very little of it is technical but confidence is something you should never doubt in this environment.
"You're here, picked on merit and you have to focus on the next match."
That next encounter is a clash with a France side desperate to bounce back from a shock defeat to Italy on the opening weekend.
Saint-André has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes with only Mathieu Bastareaud replacing Florian Fritz at centre and Jocelino Suta coming in for injured captain Pascal Papé.
Jones though remains fully focused on leading his side and is looking forward to seeing a man he knows well impress in the red shirt.
"Tipuric is a guy I've watched closely not just over the last few months but also during his transition to regional rugby," Jones said.
"He's got a skill set which is slightly different in that I genuinely believe he could play anywhere on the field.
"He deserves a chance and the ball is firmly in his court now. Hopefully we can let him excel at this level."
You can follow all of the action for France v Wales at
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