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'He enjoys it' - All Black reveals on-field verbals with Alun Wyn Jones

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

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All Blacks second row Sam Whitelock has revealed how Alun Wyn Jones deploys verbal tactics on the pitch, be it getting chatty with opponents or getting into the ‘ref’s good books’.

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Jones is set to play his 149th game for Wales, his 161st Test of any kind, surpassing Richie McCaw’s record of 148 appearances for New Zealand.

He will do so facing the daunting task of leading the first Wales team to beat New Zealand in 68 years. Ian Foster’s side are on the verge of reclaiming their world number one spot for the second time this year and are coming off a 104 – 14 thumping of the USA.

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All Black second row Whitelock – who boasts 128 New Zealand caps himself – admits he was stoked to see the Welsh great break McCaw’s record.

“Awesome man, awesome bloke, just really pumped for him to get to 149. Obviously he would be trying to get through the game to get to 150 but I’m sure he’ll be focusing on this game first without looking too far ahead.”

But what about their on-field relationship?

“He’s a real competitor and it’s great to be up there playing against him. He normally brings a bit of chat during the game but then afterwards it’s always good to share a cold beer with him too.

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“I won’t give you word by word, I’ll probably get in trouble from Joe Locke, our media manager.

“But it’s always good. It’s one of those things, you are always out there to do your best but you’ve got to enjoy it. I think that’s what Alun Wyn always does – he enjoys it. He enjoys having a bit of banter with the referee, and the other captain as well. Sometimes it’s half-hearted, just a bit of fun, and it’s actually really nice.

“Sometimes it takes the edge off it, and actually allows players to play better and sometimes allows him to get in the ref’s good books. I’m sure there’ll be a bit of that friendly banter going on out there.”

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