Jones not finished yet

Scarlets fly-half set to win 101st cap

Last Updated: 05/08/11 4:19pm

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Stephen Jones: Record breaker

Stephen Jones: Record breaker

Sky Bet

Welsh rugby history-maker Stephen Jones has no intention of becoming yesterday's man.

The Scarlets fly-half will win his 101st cap against England at Twickenham on Saturday, making him Wales' most decorated international by moving one Test appearance ahead of Gareth Thomas.

And while Jones acknowledges the magnitude of his achievement - only 13 players have played more matches in Test history - he also hopes there are many miles left in the tank.

"I am obviously delighted to get the record, no two ways about it," said the 33-year-old.


"It is a great honour.

"My first cap was way back in 1998, and I have enjoyed the whole experience being part of the Wales set-up over the years.

"As a player, you have goals, and I think it is important you do so.

"You have got to be ambitious, and the bottom line is you have got to enjoy it. I don't think it is the type of game you can play if you are not enjoying it.

"I am enjoying my rugby as much as ever. I haven't made a decision on the future, I will just keep going and keep enjoying the working environment."

Jones, a double Six Nations Grand Slam winner, will be a key member of Wales' World Cup squad in New Zealand next month.

His vast experience and astute game-management skills make him a crucial element of coach Warren Gatland's plans, and it all starts with Saturday's opening World Cup warm-up clash.


Jones was not involved when Wales were crushed 62-5 by England in a pre-tournament fixture four years ago, but he recalled: "We were outgunned and outplayed in a big way in 2007.

"It is a different environment and setting this time, and we realise the importance of this match. We didn't perform well in our last game of the Six Nations (against France).

"We have got to play to our strengths a lot better, manipulate their defence and get our good runners into the game in mis-match scenarios.

"We need players like Shane (Williams) to use his talents against front-five forwards, so we've got to have high numbers running against their low numbers.

"It's a Test match, simple as that, and every player realises what is at stake."

And one of the key individual battles will be Jones' contest with England tactical controller and opposing goalkicker Jonny Wilkinson.

The pair have amassed more than 2,200 international points between them and collected 182 caps for their countries, and Jones' respect for England's 2003 World Cup final matchwinner is undiminished.

"We haven't played against each other on that many occasions, but he is a quality player and I have the utmost respect for him," added Jones.

"He works hard on his game. He is committed to being the best and you have got to admire him for that."


England: D Armitage (London Irish); M Banahan (Bath Rugby), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), R Flutey (London Wasps), M Cueto (Sale Sharks); J Wilkinson (Toulon), D Care (Harlequins); A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), M Stevens (Saracens), S Shaw (Unattached), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), L Moody (Bath Rugby, capt), J Haskell (Ricoh Black Rams).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath Rugby), D Wilson (Bath Rugby), M Botha (Saracens), T Wood (Northampton Saints), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), C Hodgson (Saracens), C Sharples (Gloucester Rugby).

Wales: R Priestland (Scarlets); G North (Scarlets), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Scarlets), M Phillips (Bayonne); P James (Ospreys), H Bennett (Ospreys), C Mitchell (Exeter), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), A-W Jones (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: L Burns (Newport Gwent Dragons), R Bevington (Ospreys), L Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), R Jones (Ospreys), T Knoyle (Scarlets), S Williams (Scarlets), M Stoddart (Scarlets).

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