Ashes hero Jones says hit the Aussies hard
At approximately 1055 BST on Wednesday the England team, either all 11 or just the two opening batsmen, will leave the home dressing room at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff.
They will turn left and head down a flight of stairs. They will then reach the players steps and make their way through the pavilion crowd and head on to the outfield for the opening session of the 2009 Ashes series.
But just how important is that opening session?
Simon Jones was there in 2005 when England took five Australian wickets in a first session at Lord's of almost unprecedented venom and intensity, not least as Steve Harmison struck both Justin Langer and Rick Ponting.
Jones puts it like this: "I remember watching the 1988 FA Cup final between Wimbledon and Liverpool. Vinnie Jones went straight through Steve McMahon. He did not see McMahon for the rest of the game. Jones made an impression on that game, he had upset Liverpool's midfield leader.
"I think that is what we did. We showed we were about. I think they had a bit of fear about them after that because we had shown we meant business and would be in their faces for the series."
Jones, Simon not Vinnie, took 18 wickets at 21 apiece in that series and remembers "Harmy bowling quick and pinging them for fun" in that first session but there was also a significance beyond the obvious that has stuck in his mind.
"We were pumped and said we were not going to take any prisoners," he told me. "The Australians looked ruffled that we had not gone to check on them (when they had been hit) - not like the supposedly soft English they had played against before."
And it's true. I've just watched a replay of Harmison striking Ponting in the face with a short ball, drawing blood. No England players go near him apart from Ian Bell, who scuttles past the Aussie skipper from his short leg position to retrieve the ball.
In other words the opening session in Cardiff will be about making a statement of intent, one that will resonate through the series. Don't forget, England lost heavily at Lord's but nonetheless England felt they had made a point.
Jones has not played Test cricket since the fourth match of 2005's glorious Ashes summer, his career undermined by a series of injuries and he left Glamorgan for Worcestershire in 2007. As a proud Welshman he would love nothing more than to be playing in Cardiff but he is recovering from another bout of surgery and will have to be content to watch from the stands. He has already had five or six invites from friends and former Glamorgan colleagues.
"I think the Aussies will be made to feel really uncomfortable whereas at Lord's they kind of appreciate cricket more. There would not be as much stick flying around for the away team," said Jones.
"When we have toured in Australia we have had enough stick off the ground and that is their job in a way. I am sure the Cardiff boys will be backing England 100%."
He will be a hugely proud man to see an Ashes Test in Wales but nonetheless he will always retain a special memory of his walk through the Long Room at Lord's on that sunny June morning four years ago.
"No offence to the guys there but they are normally quite stuffy old gentleman," said the 30-year-old. "That was the first time I had ever seen them give us a massive pat on the back and huge support. It was unreal, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. It was the most incredible feeling I have ever had in my life. I will never forget it."
England, coached by Duncan Fletcher, went into that series rich in self belief. They had won all seven home Tests in 2004, beat South Africa 2-1 over the winter and defeated Bangladesh 2-0 before the Ashes started.
Jones reckons they were brimming with confidence and without the scars of previous Ashes defeats inflicted on previous England sides. "We were young and hungry, strong and fit - and we feared nobody," said the fast bowler.
The Worcestershire bowler thinks he can see similarities with this summer's England team even though the current vintage has certainly not had the steady, consistent build up that Michael Vaughan's England enjoyed. Results have been patchy over the last year, with victory over New Zealand followed by defeat to South Africa and in the West Indies before a recent return to form against the Windies on home soil.
Andrew Strauss is the team's third captain during that period, while coach Peter Moores has been replaced by Andy Flower. But the team has a more settled look about it now and Jones has been particularly impressed by the maturity of James Anderson, the progress of Stuart Broad and the competitiveness of Graeme Swann. He is also still in regular contact with Kevin Pietersen, his mate from 2005 who has a huge role to play this summer.
"You can see from the side at the moment that they have a similar kind of attitude to ours, they are young and fearless and I think that holds well from the summer," added Jones.
The balance is to not be complacent yet at the same time remain convinced in the probability of victory. "As long as we stay strong and together we will be fine," mused Jones.
It is a huge loss to English cricket that Jones has not played a Test since 2005. His mastery of reverse swing caused the Australians all sorts of problems back then; witness Jones' delivery to Michael Clarke at Old Trafford, to which the Aussie shouldered arms and promptly lost his off stump.
Jones was genuinely taken aback by how much trouble reverse swing caused such a seasoned and accomplished team. "I was quite shock by how we exposed them so easily," he said.
But his favourite memory of that summer does not involve sending the cricket ball swinging the wrong way - quite the reverse.
"My 5-44 at Trent Bridge was my highlight because everyone had labelled me a one trick pony. I got those five wickets through conventional swing and proved the doubters wrong."
He told me that his biggest regret as a player was never playing against Steve Waugh. He finally did so last year in a far from serious match in the US known as the Hollywood Ashes.
I suspect that deep down his biggest regret must be one that many England fans would share - namely that his long history of injury problems have restricted him to 18 Test appearances, the last of which was the aforementioned Trent Bridge contest.
He could so easily have been a key component of England's attack for most of this decade, the main man for England this summer.
His loss is England's loss - and any hope of a comeback was recently extinguished with the news that yet another knee injury has ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Jones is out of contract with Worcestershire at the end of the season and there must doubts over his future in the game.
But as a true optimist he is already plotting his next return to action and it goes without saying that he is tipping England to regain the urn this summer, 2-1, for the record, just like in 2005.