The Rugby World Cup cannot come around soon enough for Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones.
That is because it will allow him to get down to business and stop his mind from running away with thoughts of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup come November 2.
Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales are due to land in Japan on Thursday for the tournament and Jones, who is set to become Wales’ most-capped player during the competition, has been unable to stop himself from dreaming about World Cup glory.
Indeed, Jones is eager to tick off one of the last remaining pieces of silverware he is yet to win.
“Do I think about these things daily? Not far off. I am on the cusp of potentially my last chance of it, so here we go,” he said.
As part of Kitakyushu’s support for Wales, the city’s famous @kokura_castle will be lit red from the day of the team’s arrival tomorrow until Sunday 🏯 Mae’r ddinas wir wedi lliwio’n goch mewn cefnogaeth 🔴 #RWC2019 pic.twitter.com/AWG651fWb5
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 10, 2019
“I dreamt to play for Wales and if you do that you want to win a Grand Slam.
“You win a Grand Slam, what’s the next best thing? I have not won a [European] Champions Cup, I have not won a World Cup.
“In the 2011 World Cup we got to a semi-final, and on another night we get to the final and what happened will go down in the annals.
“In 2015, everybody talks about us beating England. But we go on to face Australia, they are down to 13 men and we don’t capitalise.
“You remember all those things and moments, and I have had a bit of everything with my experiences.”
The 2019 World Cup looks like being one of the most open in recent memory with the likes of world number one side Ireland, England, in-form South Africa, Australia, defending champions New Zealand and Wales all holding reasonable claims that they could prevail.
🔜 Our next game will be against @GeorgianRugby in Toyota on 23rd September.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 7, 2019
Do Wales have the squad to succeed? Jones believes his men have a lot going for them but is quick to let their actions do the talking.
“Whether it is the best, I don’t know, and the jury will be out until we see the results.
“From a balance point of view and age profiles, along with performances, it is an exciting squad with a lot of potential.
“We are going to be judged this year on what we do in this competition.”