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Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 12:28 UK

Jones out to make Pretoria amends

Stephen Jones
Jones is battling with James Hook for Wales' fly-half berth

Stephen Jones returns to the scene of his nightmare Test debut on Saturday with a double determination to perform against South Africa.

The Scarlets ace made his international bow as a 20-year-old replacement in Wales' record 96-13 defeat to the Springboks in Pretoria in June 1998.

Now the experienced fly-half is preparing to go back to the Loftus Versfeld for the first time.

"I'm just hoping we do ourselves justice on Saturday," said Jones.

The rookie Jones came on for centre John Funnell on that infamous yet forgettable afternoon almost ten years ago.

Such a thrashing on a Test debut could have detrimentally affected some players, but Jones recovered to be a virtual ever-present at number ten ever since.


The 30-year-old has had the honour of captaining his country and starring for the British and Irish Lions on tour to New Zealand.

And Jones is sure that in his 72nd cap in Pretoria, back where it all began on the world stage, a similar thumping does not await Grand Slam winners Wales despite their 43-17 'humiliation' last Saturday by the world champions in Bloemfontein.

"I'd like to think we have much more to offer and that was the frustrating thing about last Saturday," said Jones.

"If you come off the pitch having lost yet given your all, you accept it. But when you haven't contributed like you know you can, it hurts.

"The match slipped away without us having contributed anything. We were good at keeping the ball in the Six Nations but against South Africa it just wasn't there for us.

"The positive side of it is we have Saturday to put it right so we have to come back strongly in the second Test."

Recalling his debut, Jones added: "I'm aware it was my first cap 10 years ago but things have changed a huge amount since then.

"I came on for what was pretty much tackling practice!

"It was great to win my cap and to get on the pitch. But it's water under the bridge and is long gone."

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see also
Tom Shanklin's column
09 Jun 08 |  Welsh
Wales call Thomas after Rees blow
08 Jun 08 |  Welsh
Captain's call to wounded Wales
08 Jun 08 |  Welsh
Gatland embarrassed by Boks rout
07 Jun 08 |  Welsh
South Africa 43-17 Wales
07 Jun 08 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
02 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales v South Africa: Full record
28 Sep 06 |  Rugby Union
South Africa anthem
13 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales

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