Alun Wyn Jones: Former Wales captain announces shock retirement from international rugby

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Former Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has retired from international rugby just four months before the World Cup.

Jones, 37, had been selected in Warren Gatland’s 54-man training squad for September’s tournament.

Jones played 170 times for Wales and the British and Irish Lions across a 17-year international career and is world rugby’s record cap holder.

His announcement follows that of former Wales team-mate Justin Tipuric, who was also named in Gatland’s training squad.

“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 in a statement.

“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. 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.”

More follows