He seldom relents away from the field, either. Justin Tipuric, the Wales flanker and a long-time contemporary at the Ospreys, is fond of describing how fiercely Jones will upbraid other players if they dare not to pick up a piece of litter or put away a coffee cup correctly. “Even if we go out for food, Al will be the one in control,” he says. “It’s the one per-centers.” Jones, we can rest assured, will be the figure singing “Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” the lustiest today, regardless of Gatland’s view that he is sometimes too emotional for his own good. For all that he might have been urged to assume a more dispassionate demeanour, he believes the fire and brimstone are integral to his personality. “I was speaking to someone the other day who said, ‘Sport without emotion is just business’,” he reflects. “You need that, otherwise you might lose a bit of the magic.” He is notorious for brooding terribly. The rage over a loss within him can simmer for days, if not weeks. Any fellow player perceived to have capitulated faces instant excommunication. It is one of the rougher edges that Charteris, an even more gnarled veteran at 33, has tried to soften.