VIDEO: Adam Jones and Ospreys ready to face Northampton's 'flat-track bullies'
ADAM Jones has never had sand kicked in his face in his life, and the breaking news for Northampton is that he doesn't expect much to change at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday.
Nor does he expect his Ospreys team-mates to allow Saints to take any liberties in the high-stakes Pool 1 encounter in the East Midlands.
It isn't a declaration of war from one of the most amiable men in rugby.
It is just an unequivocal statement that the Ospreys are not about to allow themselves to be bullied out of the Heineken Cup.
Northampton pride themselves on their physicality and that is okay by the Welsh region, who boast a number of big hitters themselves.
But there is a line the former Pro12 champions are not prepared to see crossed.
BELOW: The full video preview of the Ospreys game
Jones said of the Saints: "There's an element of the flat-track bully about their pack.
"There's a certain element to them, a few players in their pack — Courtney Lawes is a big hitter, the boy (Calum) Clark, who was banned for 32 weeks for chicken-winging some bloke.
"You have to stand up to bullies," laughed the ex-Neath man.
The 'chicken-winging' episode that Jones refers to was an incident last year that Leicester coach Richard Cockerill later described as the worst he had seen on a rugby pitch. It saw Clark wrench an arm of Tigers hooker Rob Dawkins in the LV= Cup final, causing an injury that required an operation to put right.
As for Lawes, he is renowned as one of English rugby's most lethal tacklers.
None of which fazes Jones or any of his colleagues at the Liberty.
Most of them up front have been there, seen it, done it and got the stud marks for their troubles.
Jones and Alun Wyn Jones, for instance, featured in one of the most physical rugby matches ever played, when the Lions went down to South Africa in the X-certificate second Test in Pretoria in 2009, a game littered with monster collisions, nasty fouls and incessant spite, most of it from the Boks.
Richard Hibbard has battled the Boks with Wales before now, and Adam Jones is one of many who have played in places like Clermont Auvergne, Toulouse and Toulon.
Northampton on a Sunday lunchtime may well be loud and even raucous, but a dot of perspective is needed.
In football's Champions League, opposition sides have been greeted at Galatasaray in the past by 'Welcome to Hell' banners.
Indeed, for the visit of Manchester United in 1993 a placard was held up with 'This is your last 48 hours' scrawled on it.
There were missiles thrown at the team coach, home fans chanted through the night outside United's hotel, stopping players from sleeping. Supporters kept ringing hotel rooms.
And fans brawled at the end of the match after Eric Cantona got sent off.
For good measure, Cantona was hit by a Turkish policeman as he went down the tunnel to the dressing rooms.
That's a hostile welcome.
Jones isn't expecting anything to compare with it this weekend.
"It's not as if we are going to Galatasaray," he said.
"The Turks (the Scarlets) went there a few years ago and got a bonus point.
"So we have to take heart. When we play to potential, we know we can score tries.
"We are confident we can go there, win and get back on track. It's the last year of European rugby, after all."
The Ospreys need to get it right on Sunday after coming unstuck against Leinster at home in the Heineken Cup's opening round.
There have been suggestions that the new scrummaging laws do not suit them, neutralising a key part of their game, but Jones doesn't buy the idea.
"It's been a case of getting used to the changes," he said.
"Leinster last weekend was the best we've scrummaged under the new laws.
"One scrum was pretty poor on their line, but we won two penalties with good technique and driving them backwards, so we are getting there slowly."
Certainly Duncan Jones had a rousing game against Leinster, not just in the scrum but around the field as well.
At 35 he is playing as well as ever, with the ex-Gnoll man tackling like a back rower and repeatedly putting his hand up for carrying. It was as if the clock had been turned back to his Wales captaincy days of 2006.
"Dunc's playing brilliantly," said Jones, who went on to compare his long-time team-mate to former Neath prop Brian Williams.
"In this day and age, most props are my weight, so Dunc is a bit of a throwback, in the Brian Williams mould.
"He's been a consummate professional who works hard in training and especially hard on the field.
"He's been excellent for the Ospreys and has a couple of years left on his contract. I'm sure he'll keep going for the Ospreys until his body can't take any more."
The interview flashed by without Jones being asked once about his future. He is out of contract this summer and barely a week has passed this term when he hasn't been quizzed on his plans.
But he is worth his weight in gold at the Ospreys.
This weekend the mission will be to leave Northampton's scrum in a crumpled heap and set in place the platform for the Ospreys to rescue themselves in Europe.
There is no tight-head in world rugby better equipped for such a mission.
Welcome to hell it may not be.
But Northampton can expect a hell of a battle.