Jones to win record cap without family
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Llanelli (United Kingdom) (AFP) –
Alun Wyn Jones will become the most-capped player in rugby union history without his family looking on after the Welsh government rejected a request for them to attend because it contravened national coronavirus regulations.
Wales captain Jones will win his 149th cap against Scotland in Saturday's Six Nations finale in Llanelli.
But the veteran lock's family won't be at Parc Y Scarlets with Wales in the middle of a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown.
"The question was asked," said Jones on Friday when quizzed about whether his family would attend the game.
"Had it been different, a normal occasion, we would have cracked on and nothing would have been said.
"Permission was asked from the government for an exceptional circumstances. But in the grand scheme, one day in a lifetime is nothing considering we are in a hard lockdown and large parts of Wales were in local lockdowns before that."
The 35-year-old Jones, who will be breaking a record he currently shares with retired New Zealand great Richie McCaw, added: "Our families are very understanding and the difficult part of it is, if this was an away game it would be easy to take in many ways.
"But the fact it's at home and we can't have fans, we can't have family, it is what it is."
Jones played down the extra attention created by his looming landmark.
"I'm slightly uncomfortable with it and I don't particularly like it," he said. "It does feel like a sideshow to be honest.
"I want to get out and play, get the performance we need."
Wales are on a run of four successive defeats -- their worst since 2016.
By contrast, Scotland have won their last three games, with Six Nations wins over Italy and France followed by a 48-7 thrashing of Georgia at Murrayfield last week when Wales were well-beaten by France.
"Physically and fitness-wise we were there, but from our game ready, essentially we got found out and credit to France for taking those opportunities," Jones said.
"Ultimately elite sport and international rugby is about winning and that starts with performance.
"Scotland have arguably got one of the best brands of rugby out there. They've added guys to the squad who've done well and been very successful of late, playing play-offs and finals rugby."
© 2020 AFP