BREAKING NEWS: Alun Wyn Jones – rugby’s most-capped player EVER – stuns Wales by announcing his retirement months before the World Cup… with fellow forward Justin Tipuric also quitting
- Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric have stepped away from international rugby
- Wyn Jones – the world’s most capped union player – played 158 times for Wales
- He announced his decision to retire shortly after Tipuric, who won 93 caps
- There is less than four months until the Wales’ World Cup opener against Fiji
Alun Wyn Jones brought the curtain down on the finest international career in Welsh rugby history on Friday and joined Justin Tipuric in delivering Warren Gatland a crushing World Cup blow.
Jones, 37, is the most capped player in the game having won 170 Test caps for Wales and the British & Irish Lions and will be remembered as one of the finest to ever pull on his country’s red shirt. Only the great Sir Gareth Edwards can rival Jones for legendary Welsh status.
On a seismic afternoon, both lock Jones and flanker Tipuric confirmed their international retirements. It means neither player will travel to France for this year’s World Cup.
Both players were selected in head coach Gatland’s initial training party for the tournament at the start of the month but have now pulled out.
‘Having been selected in this year’s preliminary Rugby World Cup squad and after ongoing dialogue with the coaching staff and the WRU, I have decided to step away from the international game,’ Jones said on social media.
Wales veteran Alun Wyn Jones has announced his retirement from the international game
Justin Tipuric has also decided to step away just four months before the World Cup
‘So, after 17 years, I look back on special memories with Welsh greats and future Welsh greats.
‘My grandfather and father both nurtured my passion for rugby in my younger days which has continued throughout.
‘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 me in my favourite 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 all well for the future.
A post shared by @alun.wyn.jones
‘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.
‘Through injury, loss and success, you’ve always been there and will be for whatever’s next.
‘Despite all I have accomplished, my children will always be my biggest achievement.”
Wyn Jones is the world’s most capped union player with 158 appearances for Wales
‘During the off season I’ve had time to reflect on my playing career and now seems the right time to step away from international rugby,’ Tipuric said in a statement released by Win Sports Management, the company which represents him. Despite the fact Tipuric is club captain at Welsh region Ospreys, his employers were left scrambling to respond to his retirement news.
Tipuric will continue to play for the Swansea-based side but has now ended his international career on 93 caps. Like Jones, he will leave a huge void in Wales’ World Cup squad.
Wyn Jones helped Wales win the Six Nations Championship on five separate occasions
‘It’s been a privilege to put on the Welsh jersey and have so many great memories,’ said Tipuric, in a lowkey statement which summed up his down-to-earth ethos.
‘I’d like to thank all the players and coaches I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years and the wonderful support I’ve received from the Welsh public.
‘I’m looking forward to spending more time at home and putting all my energies into playing for my home region the Ospreys.’
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