At 5ft 11in and under 15 stones the Glasgow Warriors wing is relishing the chance to test himself against the behemoths of the All Black backline. “I suppose size has its advantages. The players that teams are producing now are like genetic freaks,” said the 29-year-old, who has been brought back into the Scotland fold by his old club coach Gregor Townsend.
“They are turning up on the wing and are double the height but can run fast as well, so they have a bit of everything.
“But it doesn’t always come down to size – it’s about rugby ability as well and smaller guys are going to have advantages over bigger guys as well in certain areas. But at the end of the day I’d like to think it comes down to rugby ability and that the wee guy can always beat the big guy when he’s at his best.”
If Jones continues on the left wing he is likely to be up against Waisake Naholo, whose double against France at the weekend took the lethal finisher’s tally to ten tries in 16 Tests.
“Whoever New Zealand put on the park, especially in the back three, is an athlete first and foremost,” said the former Edinburgh and Scotland Sevens man. “They’re good rugby players but also phenomenal athletes and that presents a challenge.
“Personally, after selection I’ll look at individuals once their side has been selected, and see where his strengths are and where his opportunities are to see what I can potentially exploit. When you play a team like New Zealand you know it’s going to be a challenge regardless of who they put out.”
Jones returned to Townsend’s summer tour squad after winning three caps in the 2012 Six Nations and is now looking forward to a seventh Scotland appearance this weekend.
“It was a long time, five and a half years since I played a match at Murrayfield. To be back there at the weekend [against Samoa] was special,” he said. “Selection can be a subjective thing, that can come down to coaches making decisions. For me it was just a case of putting my rugby on the park and if that was good enough to be selected, great.
“Selection for the summer tour was a big achievement for me and to be back playing at Murrayfield was special as well.”
Defence coach Matt Taylor highlighted the All Blacks’ mastery of the crossfield kick as an attacking weapon and the relatively diminutive Jones is ready for an aerial bombardment.
“It’s about dealing with that threat first-up and then seeing where it gives us opportunities on counter-attack,” said the wing. “They obviously have that as a set tactic, but that opens them up in other areas.”