Wales head coach Warren Gatland has hailed Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric following the announcements of their international retirements ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
The pair boast a combined Test cap tally of 264, with Jones playing 170 internationals in total.
Standard setting Jones
Gatland picked both men in his 54-player preliminary training squad for the Rugby World Cup but they will now miss the tournament.
“I’d like to congratulate Al on a phenomenal international career,” Gatland said of 37-year-old Jones.
“His leadership, dedication and determination are second to none, and he has been an incredibly special player for Wales over the past 17 years.
“Every single time he has taken to the training pitch or put on the red jersey in a Test match, he has given his absolute all: setting standards and leading by example. I am very fortunate to have been able to have worked with him, with Wales and with the Lions.
“Al’s passion and commitment for his country are limitless, and he has been an important pillar for the game in Wales. He and his family can be immensely proud of all he has achieved and in knowing he leaves a lasting legacy in Welsh rugby.
“We all wish him the very best for the future. Diolch yn fawr iawn am bopeth Al.”
1⃣7⃣ Years 🙌
1⃣5⃣8⃣ Wales caps 🏴
1⃣2⃣ Lions caps 🦁
4⃣ RWC tournament appearances 🏆
5⃣ Six Nations titles 🏆
3⃣ Grand Slams 🧹
4⃣ Triple Crowns 👑
3⃣ Lions tours 🦁
🔝 Most capped Test player
Wales & Lions great Alun Wyn Jones has announced his retirement from Test rugby 🏴🐐 pic.twitter.com/DLSAsYYh7h
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) May 19, 2023
Commenting on 33-year-old Tipuric’s decision, Gatland said: “Justin has been an integral player in the Wales back-row since he made his debut back in 2011. He’s quite quiet off the pitch, but his skill set and his work rate really set him apart from others.
“He doesn’t like a lot of fuss, but I’d like to congratulate him on a great career. He has made an outstanding contribution to Welsh rugby, and I hope everyone will join me in wishing Justin all the best for the future.”