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Wales’ new attacking style sometimes ‘detrimental’

Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones captained the British and Irish Lions in their third Test win against Australia in 2013

Wales second row Alun Wyn Jones has said that changing the team’s playing style has had a detrimental effect on performances “at times” in November.

Jones wins his 105th Wales cap when they face South Africa on Saturday.

After a defeat by Australia and close wins against Argentina and Japan, Wales will hope they can seal three wins out of four with victory in Cardiff.

“We need a performance to get wins and you don’t want to rely on opposition giving you opportunities,” he said.

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Wales have been attempting to play a more open attacking game, though Jones said that was not the reason for the poor performance against Japan.

“We weren’t caught between two stools, we just played poorly,” he said.

“But then there’s other games when we are trying to use the ball a bit more.

“We are trying to change, albeit at our own detriment at times, but [coach] Rob [Howley] is conscious that the game is changing and we have to play more, which we are trying. The Japan match aside, we are trying to play with the ball.”

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South Africa arrive in Cardiff having lost eight matches in the calendar year, including a shock 20-18 defeat by Italy in Florence in their last match.

The Springboks’ poor form could affect expectations, Jones says, though Wales have beaten South Africa only twice in 110 years.

“It’s a tough one,” he said.

“I think as a neutral you look at it and think it’s a lose-lose.

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“If we win, well it’s a poor South African side. If we lose we’re playing badly anyway so there’s no shot across the bow or anything like that.

“If we get a decent performance and show this is what we’re trying to achieve we’re going to get some way to getting the result in the right way, rather than go out there and not put out what we’ve actually set out to do.”