Jones - We will respond

Wales fly-half reveals players' meeting in wake of Fiji draw

Last Updated: 24/11/10 12:33pm

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Jones: Thinks Wales will bounce back

Jones: Thinks Wales will bounce back

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Fly-half Stephen Jones is confident Wales can "move forward" after the squad held their own inquest into last Friday's dismal draw with Fiji.

"We have tried to wrestle with issues this week and have to make sure we put things right on Saturday."
Stephen Jones Quotes of the week

Wales failed to win for the sixth successive Test match, as the tourists grabbed a 16-16 draw at the Millennium Stadium thanks to an added-time penalty from Seremaia Bai.

And with the world's top-ranked side New Zealand visiting Cardiff on Saturday, it will be a big shock if Wales manage to end their autumn campaign with a victory.

But after attending a players' meeting to analyse the latest disappointing performance, Jones says that the squad is united in their attempts to respond to the criticism they have recently been subjected to.

"Fiji was hugely disappointing, and we know we can play better," Jones said.

"We have been open and honest, and we know that we didn't perform to the standard we would have liked. We have tried to wrestle with issues this week and have to make sure we put things right on Saturday.

Belief

"We have belief in our ability, but when you do not perform as a team there will be criticism. Every time you put the Wales jersey on there is a massive responsibility. People are entitled to criticise us.

"The players' meeting was open and honest and about how we can move forward and prepare best. It was good.

"We are in a competitive environment and we want to get the best out of each other. Players often meet to discuss the way forward, especially ahead of such a big game."

Hooker Matthew Rees, who was rested against Fiji but should be back as captain instead of Ryan Jones, oversaw the meeting.

Warren Gatland is scheduled to reveal his starting line-up on Thursday, with only lock Deiniol Jones expected to be unavailable to the Wales coach.

The Cardiff Blues forward is nursing a fractured cheekbone but Gethin Jenkins, Sam Warburton and Andy Powell could all return from injury.

"We know what is coming on Saturday," Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins said.

"We've got to focus on ourselves, get ourselves back on track and perform like we did against South Africa. If we can do that, we've got a very good chance on Saturday."

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