Namibia match milestone for Welsh first five

Wales first five Stephen Jones greets fans as the team arrive in Wellington for the Rugby World...
Wales first five Stephen Jones greets fans as the team arrive in Wellington for the Rugby World Cup. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
First five Stephen Jones will, belatedly, become Wales's most-capped player when he leads his team out for today's Pool D match against Namibia in New Plymouth, the day's only World Cup action.

Jones, who also has six British and Irish Lions caps, has been level on 100 Wales appearances with former back Gareth Thomas since playing against the Barbarians in June, as a calf injury has kept him on the sidelines.

The 33-year-old, who made his debut 13 years ago, will appear in his fourth World Cup having finally shaken off the problem that first flared up during the warm-up for August's Twickenham match against England.

"From my point of view, it's great to see a player who will be winning his 101st cap who is a little bit edgy, a bit nervous, going into this game knowing how important his performance is," said coach Warren Gatland.

Wales will expect an easy victory against the African side who have lost all 14 World Cup games they have played, most recently going down 87-0 to South Africa last week.

The Welsh, who lost by a point to the Springboks in their opening match, then turn their attention to their final game against Fiji, when another win would probably be enough to send them into the quarterfinals.

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