6 Nations Head to Head: Ireland's Jamie Heaslip vs Wales' Ryan Jones

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Ahead of the clash in Dublin between Ireland and Wales we take a look at the key stats of the two key PUMA back-rows as they go head to head in the Six Nations.


AGE

Whilst on UNICEF duty Jamie's family lived in Tiberias, Israel, where Jamie he was born on the 15th December 1983. Ryan on the other hand was born in Newport, South Wales on 13th March 1981.

Heaslip – 29
Jones - 30

Score: Heaslip 29 Jones 30

SIZE

Jamie Heaslip is an athletic wrecking ball of a player but Ryan’s deceptive height and bulky frame take the honours. 

Heaslip - 6 ft 3” and 239lbs

Jones - 6 ft 5” and 251lbs.

Score: Heaslip 35 Jones 38


CLUB APPEARANCES

A true one club man with Leinster JH has pulled on the blue and white jersey an incredible 140 times. A young Ryan Jones turned out 16 times for the now-disbanded Celtic Warriors before moving to the Ospreys and is currently sitting on 120 games for them. Close one. 

Heaslip – 140
Jones - 136

Score: Heaslip 175 Jones 174

CLUB POINTS

Always a danger from the base of the scrum and a consistent line breaker with ball in hand Heaslip has 26 tries for the Dubliners. Jones on the other hand is not prolific by any means. 16 tries in 140 games for his club sides. Too busy doing the graft at the breakdowns and in defence for that.

Heaslip – 130
Jones - 80

Score: Heaslip 305 Jones 254

INTERNATIONAL APPEARANCES

A tough debut for Jamie in 2006 amidst the storm of physicality against the Pacific islanders at Lansdowne Road. Always selected when fit thereafter, he sits on 40 starts and three appearances off the bench. The Welshman made his debut in an Autumn Test against South Africa at the Millennium Stadium in 2004. Has gone on to amass an impressive 50 full caps and eight appearances off the bench.

Heaslip -43

Jones– 58

Score: Heaslip 348 Jones 312



INTERNATIONAL POINTS

Memorable tries for the Irishman against France and Scotland in 2009 added to his tally of seven international tries. Just a solitary try for RJ but it was an absolute corker. Full length of the pitch run against Scotland (there’s a theme here) at Murrayfield during the glorious Welsh Grand Slam of 2005.

Heaslip - 35
Jones– 5

Score: Heaslip 383 Jones 317

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS CAPS

Heaslip– 3
Jones – 3

Great performances from Heaslip in the 2009 Lions Tour of South Africa saw him start all three tests including the rare Lions win in the final game. Jones was a late replacement on the disappointing 2005 tour but impressed sufficiently to come off the bench in the first test, then went on to start the remaining two games. Again called up late in 2009 but a concussion in training saw him head home only a day later. All square here.

Score: Heaslip 386 Jones 320

POSITION

Jamie Heaslip is exclusively an absolute, complete and utter, out and out Number Eight. Ryan Jones also likes Eight but is comfortable on the blindside too. Has been seen at seven and on occasion in the second row as well.

Heaslip. - 8


Jones - 26

Score: Heaslip 394 Jones 346

HAIRCUT

Standard US marine crew cut from the Dubliner. Occasional fringe styling sometimes but pretty consistently uniform. ‘Jonesy’ switches between his trademark feathered ‘indie’ look and an occasional ‘short-back-and-slap’ but ruins it all by wearing a scrum cap most of the time.

Heaslip– 5
Jones – 5

Score: Heaslip 399 Jones 351

TROPHIES

Mr Heaslip boasts triple Crowns in 2009 & 2007 for Ireland and an impressive European Cup in 2008 for Leinster to add to their Celtic league title in 2008. However Ryan usurps this with the mere matter of two Grand Slams with Wales including captaining the team in 2009. Won three Magners Leagues and an EDF Cup with The Ospreys too. Also voted Wales Sexiest Man in 2009. An accolade I’m sure he holds higher than all the others combined. 

Heaslip –4
Ryan Jones –7

FINAL SCORE: Heaslip – 403 Ryan Jones – 358

So there you have it. Ryan Jones’s superior trophy cabinet, size and International caps prove no match for Jamie Heaslip's scoring record for both club and country. But who will win the big match?