Lions 2013: Adam Jones Q&A on Manu Tuilagi & Australia Tests
Australia v Lions
- Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
- Saturday, 29 June
- 11:05 BST (20:05 local)
- Live text commentary on BBC Sport website
In the latest of a regular series of columns, British and Irish Lions prop Adam Jones provides a look behind the scenes of the current tour of Australia by answering questions from readers of the BBC Sport website ahead of Saturday's second Test in Melbourne.
Q: What were your emotions when Kurtley Beale lined up to take that last-minute kick and then when the final whistle went?(from James B)
Q: What was the overall atmosphere in the camp after last Saturday's win? Did you feel relief or satisfaction at how the game went? (from the morg)
A: I was watching it from the bench, sitting next to Tom Youngs. As much as you want to be on the field, I was just gutted for the boys when they got penalised at the scrum because it happens so many times to you. But then I was watching Beale and I said 'he has slipped, he has slipped' and then I was watching the ball, and it didn't look it had the legs to get there. It was a bit surreal.
It was a hell of a feeling. I just jumped up and everyone started hugging each other. It was just relief really. I thought we deserved to win but fortunately for us they missed those two kicks at the end. It was really satisfying for us Welsh boys who have struggled to beat them in the last couple of years. But there will be no celebrating until we win the next Test or win the series.
Q: I gather you had another eve-of-match phone call from London Mayor Boris Johnson before the first Test? (from Bryn)
A: Yeah, he rang me before the 2011 World Cup semi-final against France and I hadn't spoken to him since. But his PA rang my wife when we were in the hotel. We didn't chat for long. He just asked me how I was feeling and wished me good luck. It was a bit surreal but quite exciting at the same time.
Q: On match day, what do you do during the day to get yourself ready for kick-off?(from TK)
A: Nothing! I get up as late as possible and have breakfast. We have a 'walk-through' later in the day but until then I just watch TV and have a chat with the boys in the team room. I basically try to stay as relaxed as possible. I don't get too worked up anymore.
Q: Eggs scrambled, poached or sunny side-up?(from Samuel)
A: Poached, but with lots of salt on top.
Q: What's the strangest tactic someone's tried on you in a scrum?(from paulj)
A: About 10 years ago I was playing up at Leicester with Neath. Basically I wasn't the svelte, ripped specimen of a man I am now. Every time we had a scrum in front of the main stand, their loose-head, a guy called Derek Jelley, would lift my shirt up, exposing my stomach to the whole crowd. I swear I could hear the chuckles from him and them. It was slightly embarrassing.
Q: What did you make of the England cricketers' good-luck message and will the Lions be making one in return with the Ashes coming up?(from TheGenius)
A: I am sure there are a few boys in the squad who wouldn't mind doing one. I thought it was excellent, very funny. Obviously Graeme Swann is the main character there. I thought the Warren Gatland accent was excellent! I liked Jonathan Trott's line as well. Very good.
Q: After the nail-biting first Test win, how confident are you the Lions can now go on and win the series? (from Welsh CPFC)
A: Very confident. We know we can play a lot better than last week. Saying that, we know Australia are going to raise their game again. It is last-chance saloon for them, but we are confident we can go out and do it. It is a massive occasion and we are starting to realise how big this could be in relation to your rugby career and what a big deal these Lions tours are if you can get to that next level. Even after 16 years, people like John Bentley are legends. You can still remember what Doddie Weir or Jason Leonard said in a team talk in 1997. It is a massive, massive game. We are halfway to going down in history as a Lions series-winning team. Now we just want to finish it off.
Q: Who is the toughest loose-head you have ever scrummaged against? (from Boro2Mill)
A: For years it was Tony Woodcock, the All Blacks prop. Now it is probably [Clermont Auvergne and France prop] Thomas Domingo. You ask any tight-head in Europe and they would probably say Domingo.
Q: As a former prop I often see referees calling penalties for the wrong team. In your opinion, what proportion of penalties at the scrum are correctly awarded? (from Ceri)
A: I wouldn't have a clue but it is difficult for refs. How many eyes have they got? As much as they get taught in the classroom and by experts, I think you need to tap into recently retired players or players still in the game to get a feel of it. Some of them haven't got a feel for it and it is frustrating for players and fans, and the referees as well. I appreciate how hard it is for them to ref the scrum and I am not massively sure this new binding law will work. Maybe in future it will be like the NFL where you have another ref refereeing that part of the game, a scrum referee.
Q: Which Lion would you least like to have a fight with? (from Rich_McMan)
A: Manu Tuilagi, especially after what I saw him do to Chris Ashton. He just looked incredibly accurate with those punches!
Q: Which Lions players would you most want to avoid in tackling practice? (from sonnybill)
A: Manu again! Or George North. He is bloody massive, ridiculously fast and can step like Shane Williams.
Q: How big a loss is Paul O'Connell? (from Idemontfort)
A: Everyone knows what sort of player he is and he is a massive loss. He is a massive character around the changing room, a massive influence and a huge leader among the group. But we are lucky we have got guys like Geoff Parling and Ian Evans who can step up. I am not saying it is like for like but Geoff's line-out work and set-piece game is huge, so we won't lose too much there, if anything. He was outstanding for England in the Six Nations and I am sure he will grab his chance.
Q: Very sorry to hear that your old team-mate Huw Bennett has had to retire. A tremendous player for Ospreys and Wales. (from Count Pierre Bezukhov)
A: It is very sad. I have been very close to Huw for the last 11 years. We came into the Welsh squad together and I was gutted when I heard the news. Knowing him I am sure he will do well in whatever he decides to do next. He is one the most honest, hard-working, down-to-earth guys I know.
Q: What has been your off-field highlight of the tour so far? (from bones54)
A: Probably swapping jerseys with [Australia's former Everton footballer] Tim Cahill. His was slightly small for me. Mine was probably a size or two too big for him, shall we say.
Q: As a fellow Evertonian, are you happy with [new manager] Roberto Martinez? Who do you want us to sign? (from Steve)
A: I feel a bit lost now the Moyes has left to be honest. I feel a bit empty. But yes, I'm happy with Martinez, having seen what he did with Swansea close up. He worked wonders there. They can sign who they want, I just hope we keep [Marouane] Fellaini and [Leighton] Baines. That would be ideal.
Q: How long do you plan on playing for? What are your plans when you finish? (from Steve)
A: I am coming into the last year of my Ospreys contract now so it depends what happens then, whether I go away somewhere or whether I stay. Hopefully I will make it to the next World Cup [in 2015], but I will retire after that. I would be pretty happy with 12 or 13 years of international rugby. I would have taken that at the outset. I won't go past the World Cup, unless they put a game on like they did for Shane Williams. In which case I can clap myself on and off the field and cry for the cameras! I would like to make it to the next World Cup and retire on my own terms, if possible. I do think now and again I should do something about what I am going to do when I finish, but I am too lazy to start thinking about it! Maybe I'll get a job in the media!