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Barnes' scathing take on AWJ

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Stuart Barnes' take on Alun Wyn Jones' hairline raises eyebrows in Wales

An assessment of the performance of Welsh skipper Alun Wyn Jones in his side’s Six Nations defeat to England by Sunday Times columnist Stuart Barnes has raised eyebrows in Wales.

The men in red were handed their third straight loss in a row but Barnes singled out the performance of the 34-year-old Osprey for special attention.

Barnes didn’t hold back in a scathing take on the lock’s Twickenham outing, which centred around the dominance of England’s Maro Itoje.

“Itoje was instrumental in the moments that mattered the most. Jones was part of a pack that was backpeddling at the scrum, part of a pack that had to concede penalties from driving lineouts.”

“This was not a day for myths, for men who could not turn back the tide. Jones could not…The inspiration was lacking from that first moment with Itoje onwards.”

Not only was his performance on the chopping block, but his hairline too into the bargain.

“At Twickenham when the crowd were treated to a 65th-minute shot of the Wales captain, he looked like little more than an ageing rugby player, the hair thinning a little.

“Jones’ lineout impact was well nigh invisible and his attempts at linking in the loose were poor. Without their leader, Wales were left with little more than a magical try, a scrum in retreat and a lineout very much second best.

“Despite that ridiculously flattering scoreline, the truth is that Itoje didn’t have to raise himself to the levels of performance he produced against Ireland.

Meanwhile Jones has called on World Rugby to review an incident during his side’s 33-30 Six Nations defeat to England on Saturday when opposition prop Joe Marler appeared to grab him around the groin area.

Marler, who has a chequered disciplinary history, escaped sanction for the first-half incident during a melee that went unnoticed by the match officials.

But it is likely to be looked at by the match citing commissioner, which could leave Marler in disciplinary trouble.

World Rugby’s punishment for what they term “testicle grabbing or twisting or squeezing” ranges from a suspension of 12 weeks to 24 weeks or more.

“What would you do?” Jones said in a post-match media conference when asked about the incident.

“I’ve got 138 Tests for my country. If I react, I get a red card. It’s tough, isn’t it?

“Hopefully World Rugby have a look at it.”

Additional reporting AAP

WATCH: Wales coach Wayne Pivac and captain Alun Wyn Jones speak at a press conference following the team’s Guinness Six Nations match against England.

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Stuart Barnes' take on Alun Wyn Jones' hairline raises eyebrows in Wales
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