Hadleigh Parkes has admitted he was completely taken aback when Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones adjusted his collar before their Guinness Six Nations defeat to Ireland.
Jones was introducing the Wales players to the Irish president Michael D. Higgins when he spotted Parkes’ tracksuit collar was turned down, prompting him to act immediately.
The Wales skipper quickly turned it back up without breaking stride as he ensured his men looked the part – although a confused Parkes didn’t know what to think.
Extended Highlights: Ireland 24-14 Wales
“Before the game, there was Alun Wyn Jones adjusting my collar just before I met the Irish president,” said the centre in his column for BBC Sport.
“I was pretty surprised and was not sure what he was doing at first. He just grabbed my collar and popped it up and you could see the little bit of shock on my face.
“It just shows our captain wants all the boys looking sharp and presentable when we are meeting important guests.”
Wales went on to lose the game 24-14 as their hopes of back-to-back Grand Slams were ended by the hosts in Dublin but Parkes remains positive they can defend their crown.
“The Grand Slam and Triple Crown have gone now but the Six Nations title is very much still on,” he added. “It is important we learn the lessons of the Ireland defeat, but there are still a lot of big games ahead.
“We have France and Scotland at home and a trip to England in between. Two of those games are in Cardiff at an amazing stadium and we always get a lift playing in front of our own fans.
“There are key matches remaining and if everything goes well for us with teams taking points off each other, we can definitely still win the title.”