Wales prop Adam Jones targets successful Six Nations campaign
Adam Jones believes Wales can overcome their poor form and a lengthy injury list and retain the Six Nations title.
Last Updated: 17/12/12 2:30pm
Wales claimed a second Grand Slam in five years with victory over France last March, but they have since lost seven successive games and slipped into the third tier of the world rankings.
Jones missed the autumn series whitewash due to a knee injury but returned in the Ospreys' shock Heineken Cup win over Toulouse last weekend.
The 83-cap tight-head insists the national team can rediscover their form ahead of the Six Nations opener against Ireland on 2 February.
"It was tough to miss the autumn series because you know what it's like in camp - the build-up is always exciting," said Jones.
"It was probably a good series to miss, the way it turned out. But I don't think we've turned into a poor team overnight.
"There's a lot of talent in the squad. If we can get everyone fit, we can give anyone in the Six Nations a run for their money.
"A lot has been made about Warren Gatland being away on Lions duty but the coaches there are fantastic anyway.
"Of course Gats is a big influence, but I don't see why we can't retain our title. It's obviously going to be difficult, but I don't see why not."
There has been an exodus of Welsh stars to the more lucrative Top 14 in France, but Jones believes the Ospreys' 17-6 success against Toulouse highlights the talent the regions are producing.
The likes of Justin Tipuric, Eli Walker, Ashley Beck and Lloyd Peers all excelled against the French giants, and Jones feels their performances show the benefits of giving youth a chance.
"These boys are getting exposed now in European rugby, so I don't see why we can't kick on," he said.
"It's going to take time. We've seen a lot of boys go to France and we are probably not going to win the Heineken Cup straight away, but performances like this show we can at least compete with these teams."