Jones has faith in Gatland
February 1, 2008
Mark Jones is convinced new Wales coach Warren Gatland will build an era to be proud of - and consign the last two miserable years to history.
Welsh rugby lost its way badly after the 2005 Grand Slam triumph. Last year, they failed to reach the World Cup quarter-finals and only narrowly avoided the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon.
Head coach Gareth Jenkins was sacked after the World Cup, having managed just two notable victories - against England and Argentina - in 20 Test matches.
But Jones is excited by what the future holds, after Gatland was hired in November and immediately reunited the coaching partnership with Shaun Edwards which brought unprecedented success to Wasps.
Under the `dream team', Wasps won a hat-trick of Premiership titles and the Heineken Cup - before Gatland returned to New Zealand and led Waikato to the
As Wales completed their final preparations for tomorrow's Six Nations opener against England, Jones said: ``Warren has come from environments in the past
``If you look at the teams associated with him, they are associated with that mentality.
``We want to be a team that is remembered as being not only mentally strong but one that wins games. The two go hand in hand.
``We are all mindful of the fact that we can play well for a couple of games, but then we can come off the pace.
``We are conscious that we need to be consistent. It is about being right there in games right until the end; it is about always being in a position to win games.
``I am confident that we can grow that over the coming months and years.''
Jones is the lone Llanelli Scarlets representative in Wales' starting line-up, which features a record-breaking 13 Ospreys as Gatland looks to exploit the combinations fired in the furnace of the Heineken Cup.
Wales have not won at Twickenham since 1988, but Jones said: ``We can't afford to go there and worry about being at Twickenham; otherwise we'll be beaten before we get there.
``It is going to be quite hostile, but you have to use it as a lift.
``As for the 20 years thing, it is not something we have spoken of as a group - it is not an issue for us.
``What we have to worry about is getting the basics right.
``England don't lose too often at Twickenham in the Six Nations - three times in the last 10 years, I have been told - and they have a fantastic group of players, whose confidence is high after getting to the final of the World Cup.
``It is all to do, but what a great place to go and turn them over.''
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