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Jones changes tack on roof

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Six months after demanding it open, Eddie Jones now wants the Principality roof closed

Saturday’s weather forecast in Cardiff isn’t predicting any rain, but England boss Eddie Jones has asked for the Principality Stadium roof to be closed when they face Wales in the second of their World Cup warm-up fixtures.

Just six months ago, Jones caused an uproar by refusing to let the Welsh close the roof for the February Six Nations clash between the countries. However, with England due to play their opening two fixtures at next month’s World Cup under a closed roof, the Australian has now changed tack regarding his surroundings in Cardiff. 

England start their World Cup bid at the Sapporo Dome against Tonga on September 22 and they will also be under a roof when they take on USA in Kobe on September 26.

Jones was reported on Twitter by the RFU saying: “We’re hopeful Wales close the roof, as our first two games in Japan are under closed roofs.”

He will now hope to get his way and have Wales agree that the warm-up, which will be played in front of a capacity crowd of more than 70,000, will take place under a roof for a summer match in contrast to what happened in winter when England and Ireland forced the Welsh to open it. That resulted in the Grand Slam clincher against the Irish taking place in a constant downpour. 

Meanwhile, Leinster-bound Wales assistant Robin McBryde has spoken about the impact which Gareth Anscombe’s World Cup-ruining injury has had on the Welsh squad.  

“It is a big loss,” he told WRU TV. “He [Anscombe] has been there consistently over the last however many games on that winning streak. He has worked well and led the ship well. Any player of that calibre is going to be a loss to the squad.”

Wales are due to name their team for Saturday’s match at 11am on Thursday, with England scheduled to follow suit two hours later at 1pm. 

WATCH: Eddie Jones talks to the media on Monday after confirming his 31-man squad for the World Cup

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Six months after demanding it open, Eddie Jones now wants the Principality roof closed