Alun Wyn Jones: Wales great calls time on his illustrious career before the Rugby World Cup

Jared Wright
Wales and British and Irish Lions great Alun Wyn Jones has shockingly announced his retirement from international rugby ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The most capped international rugby player of all time, Alun Wyn Jones, has shockingly announced his retirement before the Rugby World Cup.

The 37-year-old lock played 158 times for Wales and made 12 British and Irish Lions Test appearances featuring on four tours – in 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2021 – and skippered them in South Africa two years ago.

Dream come true

Jones’ decision came on the same day that Justin Tipuric announced his retirement and comes less than four months out from Wales’ Rugby World Cup opener against Fiji in Bordeaux.

The veteran lock was also named in the 54-player preliminary training squad for the tournament by head coach Warren Gatland.

Writing on his Instagram page, Jones said: “Having been selected in this year’s preliminary Rugby World Cup squad, and after ongoing dialogue with the coaching staff and WRU (Welsh Rugby Union), I have decided to step away from the international game.

“So, after 17 years, I look back on special memories with Welsh greats and future Welsh greats.”

Former Wales and Lions captain Jones continued: “The opportunity to be professional in the sport I love was a dream come true, and to represent my home region the Ospreys and clubs within the region, namely Mumbles and particularly Bonymaen, who guided my formative years, was beyond special and something for which I am hugely grateful.

“A huge thank you to the staff and players who have been part of my journey. I wish you well for the future.

“To the supporters, thank you for the support and making the most special occasions even more memorable.

“To the people closest to me, my family, I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Alun Wyn Jones’ Test career

He made his Test debut in 2006 and is widely regarded as one of Wales and the Lions’ greatest-ever players.

He is the most-capped international player of all time with 170 caps.

In total, he won five Six Nations titles with Wales, including three Grand Slams and four Triple Crowns.

Jones was also named as the Six Nations Player of the Championship in 2019.

Had he played in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it would have been his fifth tournament appearance.

READ MORE: Justin Tipuric: Wales flanker makes shock retirement call before the Rugby World Cup