Rugby World Cup 2023: Wales achieve 'first part of something special' - Alun Wyn Jones

Rugby World Cup 2023: Portugal v Wales

Venue: Stade de Nice, Nice Date: Saturday, 16 Sept Kick-off: 16:45 BST

Coverage: Live BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app.

Former captain Alun Wyn Jones believes Wales achieved the first part of "something special" with their victory over Fiji in their World Cup opener.

Wales held out amid a dramatic late Fiji fightback to edge a captivating match 32-26 in Bordeaux.

Head coach Warren Gatland had said prior to tournament his side would "surprise a few people".

"Gats [Gatland] has come out and said they're going to achieve something special," Jones said.

"The quality of that Fiji team shouldn't be underestimated. The first part of [something] special has been achieved and I fully support them on the rest of it.

"It will be interesting to see how selection goes in the next game because I think that will give us potentially who's going to be involved the week after, unless he keeps the same team."

Wales face Portugal next in Nice on Saturday before Pool C fixtures against Australia and Georgia as they bid to reach a fourth successive World Cup quarter-final.

Jones, who appeared at four World Cups, retired from international duty in May having been included in Gatland's 54-man training squad for the tournament in France.

In their opening game, Wales almost surrendered an 18-point lead following a ferocious Fiji fightback before eventually securing a bonus-point victory.

"It was a good start," Jones told BBC Wales Today. "I thought there were some well-constructed tries, Jac [Morgan, captain] led well, Biggs [Dan Biggar] had a good game and George North showed what George North can do.

"Ultimately the win was important for the scope of the first weekend only because you look across the teams and the number of teams that probably didn't hit their straps like in the warm-up games.

"I think a lot of teams were displaying fatigue from emotional energy because it's the first weekend of the World Cup.

"But to see Wales get that first win is the most important thing."

Jones' former Ospreys team-mates Morgan and Dewi Lake were appointed co-captains by Gatland for the World Cup.

Back-row Morgan was skipper for the opener against Fiji and former captain Jones was full of praise for the 23-year-old.

"What we've seen of him he's carried on what he's been doing when he's had his opportunity with Wales and the Ospreys and that's playing well," said Jones, speaking at an event at Waunarlwydd RFC to publicise National Lottery funding grassroots clubs.

"As a captain that's the first thing you need to do and everything else will take care of itself."