MX23RW : Saturday, July 24 02:47:56| >> :120:27375:27375:

A look at the upcoming battle between Alun Wyn Jones and James Ryan

The rival locks will be key performers during the Six Nations.

Wales and Ireland meet in Cardiff on Sunday as the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship swings into action.

Intriguing individual battles are set to take place across the pitch, but none more so than a second-row head-to-head between Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and Ireland lock James Ryan.

Alun Wyn Jones v James Ryan graphic
(PA graphic)

Here, the PA news agency looks at how they shape up.

Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones is Wales' leader
Alun Wyn Jones is Wales' leader (Adam Davy/PA)

Leadership: Jones leads the way in training, working through drill after drill as an inspired presence, and his match-day standard has never waned across a world-record 152 appearances for Wales and the British and Irish Lions. He first skippered Wales at the age of 23 and captained Wales to a Six Nations Grand Slam, in addition to spearheading their 2019 World Cup campaign.

Work-rate: It can be tiring just watching Jones, and the amount of work he gets through during a game. The basics – scrum and lineout – are taken as read, but his tackle count is often near the top when it comes to Wales' match-day statistics, and he is also right up there when it comes to carries and metres made.

Lions verdict: Jones will join a select band of players to be picked for four Lions tours if he makes head coach Warren Gatland's South Africa-bound squad later this year. Jones has played in nine Lions Tests, a figure bettered by just seven players.

James Ryan

James Ryan in action for Ireland
James Ryan in action for Ireland (Paul Harding/PA)

Leadership: Ryan is viewed by many followers of the Irish game as a Test captain-in-waiting. He only made his international debut in 2017, and he started an impressive Ireland career with eight successive victories. Aged just 24, he consistently performs with a maturity and presence way beyond his years.

Work-rate: Ryan has excelled for Ireland on a regular basis, and he was right at the forefront during last season's Six Nations. His total of 57 carries in the competition was bettered by just three players, and he also finished fourth in the overall lineouts won statistics.

Lions verdict: Ryan also seems set to gain Gatland's seal of approval, and he would be a first-time Lion. Ryan could also find himself in a selection battle with Jones to make the Test team, with England forward Maro Itoje a clear favourite to fill one of the second-row berths, leaving a vacancy as his partner.

ID:433521: cacheID:433521:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:6805:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell ahead of the match on February 23, 2020
Read Next:
Ireland without Caelan Doris and Quinn Roux for Six Nations opener with Wales
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina1001
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia0101
SwitzerlandSwitzerland0011
AfghanistanAfghanistan0000
Albania national flagAlbania0000
Great BritainGreat Britain0000
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!