|Six Nations: Scotland v Wales|
|Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 9 March Kick-off: 14:15 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary online.|
Captain Alun Wyn Jones says Wales have “a job to get on with” against Scotland on Saturday following a week dominated by domestic rugby politics.
Wales seek a 13th straight Test victory and can move to within one win of securing the Six Nations title and a Grand Slam with success at Murrayfield.
Off the field, a row has developed after a discussed merger between Ospreys and Scarlets was dismissed.
“We’ve got a game which is the main job we face,” said Jones.
Wales are flourishing on the field after winning the first three games against France, Italy and England to take their year-long unbeaten streak to 12.
Away from the national side it’s a very different story.
Ospreys lock Jones says he has been left bemused by the troubled build-up which been unsettling for players across Wales.
A domestic debate is raging about so-called ‘Project Reset’ and how Wales’ professional regional game will look in the future.
Talks at Wales’ Professional Rugby Board level now appear to be deadlocked, with the proposed merger off the table, but considerable uncertainty remains.
Players ‘want answers’
Jones has been involved in discussions with Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips over the future of the domestic game.
The former Ospreys skipper hopes the situation will be resolved after the Six Nations and had a simple message for his squad.
“You don’t want to be too profound,” said Jones.
“We’re aware it’s not just about the guys in the national squad, it’s the guys in the regions as well and their staff etc,” added Jones.
“For us it’s not a case of carry on regardless, it’s a case of being sympathetic to the situation. We want a few more answers after the Six Nations, but we’ve got a job to get on with.
“It has been tough. We’ve been a bit splintered this campaign [from regional colleagues], but there has been communication with the senior group and we’ve tried to reassure as much as we can.
“It is difficult when we don’t know the full situation.
“Whatever career you are in, you always have other distractions. Ultimately, we are professional rugby people and we focus on the rugby, that’s the easy bit.
“We are not politicians, so we don’t have to delve too much into that.”
Jones says he hopes the off-the-field turmoil can “galvanise” the Wales team against Scotland.
“We’ve got a lot of experienced players in this team and we can’t forget that,” said Jones.
“It’s been nice to be able to have the outlet that is rugby and also have an away game which has been a blessing in the last week.
“We’ve built through the week and we’ve got a game which is the job we face.
“We’re enjoying each other’s company and a big thing for us is being part of a squad that’s operating well but maybe not at its full potential. It’s a special place to be.”
Wales’ last trip to Scotland ended in defeat in 2017 when Rob Howley was in caretaker charge while Gatland prepared to take the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand.
Gatland has won all 10 matches as Wales coach against Scotland.
“They call it fortress Murrayfield don’t they?” said Jones.
“They’re building a massive reputation about how unwelcoming it can be here, but as a player you want to revel in that and that’s what we’ll do.
“We’ve got a bad memory of the last time we were up here. We have got to play the situation and the environment on the day and not get too bogged down by historic events or the future.”
If Wales win against Scotland, it will be a record 62nd victory in a red shirt for Jones, eclipsing the previous record he shares with Gethin Jenkins.
Speaking on the Matt Dawson Rugby Show former Wales flanker Martyn Williams said: “The strange thing is I was sat here two days before England and I was more confident than I am about going up to Scotland. I am pretty nervous, but I think they are going to be OK.”
Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson: “Wales have not started very well in matches, even the first half against England was a bit ropey, but if they find that gear that they slotted into in the second half they could easily dispatch Scotland and Ireland.”
Former England fly-half Paul Grayson: “I think Wales win, but they miss out on the bonus point – just based on the weather forecast and that Scotland are due a performance. England get five points, Ireland get five points and we go into the final weekend with all the home nations having the ability to ruin it for each other. Perfect Six Nations.”
Former Ireland international Shane Horgan: “I think Wales are the ultimate momentum team and I think that will bring them through.”
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