IF Huw Jones played his international rugby for the land of his father's fathers he might well have been lining up against Scotland in Cardiff this Saturday. Instead, the Edinburgh-born Glasgow centre with the Welsh Christian name, English parents and South African twang to his accent will be a key part of the Scotland group who travel to the Welsh capital keen to banish the memory of a 34-7 humbling in Gregor Townsend’s Six Nations debut last February.

That was a bad day at the office for every single member of a rather experimental Scottish selection, not least for Jones who found himself playing inside centre in a misfiring backline with the untested Chris Harris outside him. So he is determined that what, given the absence of the injured Stuart Hogg, John Barclay and others, and unavailability of French-based pair Finn Russell and Greig Laidlaw, is likely to be an equally exploratory Scotland side can atone for it at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Jones feels Scotland were guilty of hubris back then on the back of a run in the 2017 Autumn internationals which saw them humiliate Australia and almost take the scalp of New Zealand, but in truth our players have never had the right to be complacent as they visit a venue where they have just won just 16 of their 61 jousts in history. Extra match crammed onto the schedule or not, there is plenty at stake: victory wouldn’t only see them become the first winners of the Doddie Weir Cup, it would rack up Scotland’s 50th victory over Wales at Test level.

“People always say how good the atmosphere is down there,” said Jones. “But I’ve only played there once and it wasn’t great for me. It is the sort of place that can be hostile if it’s not going your way.

“As a group we were fairly inexperienced then [in February],” he added. “Gregor had had only a few games in charge and there were a lot of new players in that squad.

“We’ve had a lot of games since then and I think maybe this time round there won’t be any complacency. Last time we’d had a pretty good autumn and had gone into the 6 Nations maybe believing in the hype a bit. And it came back to sting us so we won’t be doing that again.”

“Am I playing inside centre again? No, I’m not!” said Jones, ahead of today’s team announcement. “There’s slight differences but once you’re outside set-piece time there’s not a great deal of difference. I think just that game, no-one really played that well, it was a bit of a shocker and we’re looking forward to putting that right this time.”

With Scotland intent to attack with abandon from the outset, and Wales determined to take them on at their own game, the first six minutes of that February match were as wide open and stamina-sapping as any in Six Nations history. By contrast, the backdrop to Saturday's friendly outing sees both unions combine to pledge a six-figure sum to Weir's motor neurone disease charity, the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, but Jones feels it won't take long for the competitive juices to start flowing.

“Will it be as intense as a normal Six Nations match?” said Jones. “I think so, yes. Home nations teams, whenever they come up against each other, it’s always going to be intense. A sort of derby mentality I suppose. I think we still want to stick to our style of rugby, but be aware of tactical elements of the game, Last time for the first five or six minutes the ball didn’t go out and we were pretty knackered, I’m sure they were as well, but they took an opportunity straight after that and got points on the bard which put us in a tough position. I think we still want to play our style, just be better at it.”

With Russell, now out playing at Racing '92 in France, not released in time for a match which played outwith the conventional international window, one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. That man is Adam Hastings, the son of Scotland great Gavin. Not only a club mate from Glasgow Warriors, but also a product of his alma mater Millfield School in Somerset, Jones sees many similarities in the two No 10’s style of play, not least the fact they are fearless in the way they like to throw the ball around.

“There are similarities there, they both have a no fear approach, aren’t scared to do anything and like to throw the ball about a bit,” said Jones. “But they are both really good 10s, who can control the game and play attacking rugby as well which is what we like to do. Adam’s been quality this season if you look at the number of man of the match awards that he’s had. He’s obviously in really good form, exciting to play with him. They’re both pretty good at passing me the ball. Familiarity is big for us. It does help that me, Adam and Alex [Dunbar] have a had a couple of games together for Glasgow this season.”

Jones missed Scotland’s summer tour to the Americas as he underwent a wrist operation but feels he is building form. “I had a bit of time off at the end of last season and the summer, had a good pre-season but I wasn’t able to do everything as I was still coming back from injury,” he said. “But the games I have played I’ve improved each one I think.”