Wales head coach Warren Gatland has admitted to being surprised that tighthead prop Adam Jones retired after his latest snub from the squad.
The 33-year-old Cardiff Blues prop, who has been performing at a high standard this campaign, was again overlooked ahead of the Six Nations Championship.
Since the decision, Jones has decided to call time on his international career, a decision that Wales head coach Gatland said he was shocked to discover.
“I was as surprised as anyone when Adam made the decision to retire,” he told BBC Sport.
“I would have preferred it to have been perhaps after the World Cup because he wasn’t out of contention in our minds in terms of the World Cup.”
Gatland has named Samson Lee, Aaron Jarvis and Scott Andrews as his tighthead options, and revealed he has been happy with their progress.
“As a coach you’ve got to make some hard calls sometimes and we’ve been very pleased with the progress in particularly Samson Lee over the last 12 months,” he explained.
“But sometimes you make that call when you’re looking for some depth in certain positions.
“He’s [Jones] made that decision to retire and we have to respect him for that.”