Scotland centre Huw Jones will embrace the high expectations he set for himself as he looks to build on his impressive Guinness Six Nations comeback.
The Glasgow back enjoyed some big moments in the tournament earlier in his career, including scoring twice against England in both 2017 and 2018.
But he fell out of favour for spells at Glasgow under Dave Rennie and did not start a game in the Six Nations in 2021 or 2022 before reviving his career at Harlequins and then on his return to Warriors.
Jones scored four tries and was named in last year’s official team of the championship after making an emphatic return to the tournament.
With 16 tries in 43 internationals in all, Jones is looking to make a major contribution in this year’s Six Nations as Scotland prepare to open their campaign against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
“Having got back into the squad and the team for the last Six Nations, and getting an extended run of games, I find myself being a little more commanding in the position, and taking that ownership to the next level,” the 30-year-old said.
“When you get a run of games, anyone feels more confident. Going into this, it’s something I want to build on and be a player who guys will look to to break the game up or make a big play.
“I still feel I am learning, developing as a player across the board – strength, conditioning, skills – I am still learning my game. I definitely feel I have more to give.”
Jones was singled out by Gregor Townsend for two missed tackles as Scotland lost in Cardiff in the autumn of 2018 but he is not dwelling on those memories ahead of his return to the Principality Stadium.
“It was certainly a tough day,” he said. “The good thing is that’s quite a long time ago so I’ve had time to reflect and the biggest thing is I’ve had time to learn and improve.
“It’s not something I think about really anymore, it’s actually not really crossed my mind this week. If you look back at that, it was a bit of a shocker.
“Everyone has bad games in their career, you don’t want to have them in a big game, but it’s a few years ago now.
“I’ve definitely improved, I’ve learned a lot as a player and a person. I wouldn’t say it haunts me or anything. I’ve moved on from it.”
Jones is also not getting caught up in the stats around Scotland’s record in Wales.
Although Townsend’s side won in Llanelli in 2020 during the pandemic, they have not triumphed in Cardiff for 22 years.
“It’s not really been a huge talking point for us,” Jones said. “We are obviously aware of it but it’s not a primary motivation, to go and break a record.
“We did it with England, beat France away, there’s a few things we have done to change those records. So it’s not a huge talking point but having done it a couple of times makes it less daunting.”
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