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The time Alun Wyn Jones confronted blazer over after dinner speech

By Kim Ekin
Wales rugby captain Alun Wyn Jones (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

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James Haskell has recalled how he impressed he was at seeing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones confront a WRU blazer after a heavy defeat at Twickenham.

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The Welsh skipper appeared on ‘The Good, The Bad and the Rugby’ podcast recently and opened up about his career and plans for the future.

Haskell spoke about how he witnessed an unnamed Wales blazer dressing down the team in a speech at the after-match meal, only for the Welsh icon to immediately seek him out to confront him over what he’d said.

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“I was blown away the time England played Wales at Twickenham, and somebody from your side got up and did a speech and basically said you’d let the team down and it was a bit of an embarrassment and you walked straight up and said ‘don’t ever speak about a team like that, everyone has tried their 100 per cent.

“Yes the result, we didn’t get what we wanted but you cannot say that’. I was like ‘f***ing hell, I love that’, you want a leader to be able to speak up and say that. I was blown away.”

Jones said that approach had got him in trouble behind the scenes before.

“In credit to him [the speaker], I think he was as disappointed as we were. Obviously, he had a few more than we had.

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“In credit to him as a man he met us in person and apologised to us. It is what it is sometimes.

“That sort of approach has got me in trouble at times as well. It doesn’t happen too often but I think sometimes when something needs to be said it needs to be said.”

Wales ended a forgettable Guinness Six Nations campaign with a result few thought possible – losing at home to Italy. Their poor run of form in the Test arena has sadly been mirrored in the regional setup, where the teams have suffered one of their worst campaigns in years.

Wales are now gearing up for a World Cup year and Jones spoke recently about putting the recent run of results behind them.

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“It can definitely get better, can’t it. I won’t pull any punches on that.

“I think we have to rewind 12 months. There was this big thing about giving opportunities to players and getting the strength in depth which we haven’t had.

“The melting pot of players is larger. It is down to us then, or Wayne to get the squad and essentially put a better product on the park.

“I think it’s perceptions. Results promote chatter and opinion. The inevitable criticism that will come, it always does.”

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