Alun Wyn Jones

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Alun Wyn Jones
Jones during a match against Harlequins, October 2008
Date of birth (1985-09-19) 19 September 1985 (age 38)
Place of birthSwansea, Wales
Height198 cm (6 ft 6 in)[1]
Weight121 kg (19 st 1 lb)[1]
SchoolLlandovery College
UniversitySwansea University
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004–2006 Swansea 35 (15)
2005–2023 Ospreys 257 (120)
2023 Toulon 5 (0)
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2005–2006 Wales U21 20 (5)
2006–2023 Wales 158 (45)
2009–2021 British & Irish Lions 13[2][3] (0)

Alun Wyn Jones[4][5] OBE (born 19 September 1985) is a Welsh former international rugby union player who played as a lock. He played most of his career for Ospreys and for the Wales national team. He is the world's most-capped rugby union player, with 158 caps for Wales and 13 for the British & Irish Lions, and also holds the records for the most Wales caps and[6] the second most Wales caps as captain. He retired from rugby in 2023.

Jones was the captain of the British & Irish Lions for their 2021 tour to South Africa, and is one of only four players to have been selected to play on four Lions tours,[nb 1] in 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2021. He is one of seven Wales players to have won three Grand Slams.[nb 2] He was named the best player of the 2019 Six Nations Championship and was nominated for World Player of the Year in 2015 and 2019.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Swansea to Tim Jones, a solicitor, and Ann Jones, a secondary school teacher. Both Jones' father and grandfather had previously played rugby for Swansea.[9] Jones grew up in Mumbles, initially playing football before switching to rugby whilst at Oystermouth Primary School. For his secondary education, he attended Bishop Gore School and joined Bonymaen RFC at age 11. At 16, Jones joined Llandovery College on a partial scholarship.

Club career[edit]

Swansea and Ospreys[edit]

Jones played for Swansea RFC while in the Ospreys Academy. Jones made his Ospreys debut on 4 September 2005 in a 22–20 win over Leinster[10] and having made several appearances as a replacement, Jones made his first Ospreys start against Border Reivers later that month.[11]

After a disappointing first season in which Ospreys finished 6th in the 2005–06 Celtic League, Jones went on to win the 2006–07 Celtic League title, the first trophy of his career.

Jones played in the 2008 Anglo-Welsh Cup final against Leicester, scoring the second try as Ospreys ran out 6–23 winners.[12]

On 23 August 2010, the Ospreys announced that Jones would succeed Welsh teammate Ryan Jones as club captain for the 2010–11 season. The decision was made, in part, so Ryan Jones could concentrate on the national captaincy during a busy World Cup year.[13]

On 9 December 2016, Jones broke the Ospreys' record for the highest try scoring forward as he touched down for his 21st try.[14]


On 7 July 2023, Jones would sign for French team Toulon as a cover during the 2023 Rugby World Cup held in France.[15][16] On 18 November, he would be made captain for the last match of his career in a Top14 match against Clermont. He received a standing ovation from the crowd.[17]

International career[edit]


Jones represented Wales at both under-18 and under-21 level, completing a Grand Slam at the 2005 under-21 Six Nations Championship.[18]

Jones made his senior Wales debut during the 2006 Summer Tests, starting at flanker as Wales lost to Argentina in successive games.[19] Jones would secure his first Wales win against the Pacific Islanders at the Millennium Stadium in the 2006 Autumn Internationals. Jones' first appearance at lock would occur in the following game, a victory over Canada, ahead of a permanent switch from then on.

Jones became first choice lock ahead of the 2007 Six Nations, appearing in all 5 games. Disappointing performances however saw Wales finish 5th in the standings, securing their only win of the tournament on the final day against England.[20] Jones scored his first Wales try during the 2007 Rugby World Cup warm-up matches, crossing the line in a 27–20 win over Argentina.[21] Jones was selected at lock in Wales opening 2007 Rugby World Cup pool game against Canada, scoring on his World Cup debut as Wales ran out unconvincing 42–17 victors.[22] Following defeat to Australia in Cardiff, Jones would score again against Japan at the Millennium Stadium in the third pool game, increasing their chances to qualify. Unfortunately, Wales would fall to defeat in the final game against Fiji, crashing out of the World Cup at the pool stage.[23]

Jones started in Wales' opening game of the 2008 Six Nations against England, achieving a first win at Twickenham in 20 years.[24] Jones would miss the following two games, victories over Scotland and Italy due to injury[25] before returning for the final games against Ireland and France. Wales would complete their second Grand Slam in four years, and a first for Jones.[26] Jones scored his first Six Nations try in the opening game of the 2009 championship against Scotland at Murrayfield.[27] In the penultimate game of the tournament against Italy, Jones was selected to captain Wales for the first time, becoming the 126th player to do so.[28]

On 18 January 2010, he was named in the 35-man Wales squad for the 2010 Six Nations tournament.[29] In the first game against England, Jones tripped hooker Dylan Hartley, for which he was sent to the sin-bin. During his 10 minutes there, England scored 17 points and went on to victory. Coach Warren Gatland later criticised Jones for the offence, saying it cost Wales the game.[30]

2014 saw Jones captain Wales three times – once against Italy and twice against South Africa. In the 2014 Autumn Internationals, he scored a try in Wales's 28–33 loss to Australia.

In the 2015 Six Nations, he formed a second row partnership with Luke Charteris and won two man-of-the-match awards during the tournament, earning them against Scotland and Italy.

Jones made his 100th appearance when Wales faced South Africa in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Rugby World Cup but Wales were knocked out of the competition with South Africa winning 23–19.

Jones took part in the 2016 Six Nations and was originally paired with Luke Charteris who was then replaced by Bradley Davies. Jones suffered an injury in the penultimate game against England in the tournament and was replaced with a returning Charteris. Jones returned to action on the 2016 tour to New Zealand, playing his 100th test for Wales in the first test against New Zealand – his 106th appearance. His 100th Welsh test ended in disappointment with New Zealand beating Wales 39–21, going on to win the series 3–0.

He took part in the 2016 autumn internationals but had to miss the first match due to the death of his father. He returned to play Argentina in which he won the man of the match award.[31] Jones took over from Sam Warburton as captain of the Welsh squad for the 2017 Six Nations.[32]

In 2019, Jones captained Wales in their Grand Slam victory and was named Player of the Championship in a public vote.[33] It was later established that Jones suffered knee ligament damage early in the Grand Slam decider against Ireland.[34][35] Following the game, he was referred to by Jonathan Davies and others as "the greatest ever" Welsh rugby player.[5][36]

On 29 September 2019, in a game against Australia at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, he became Wales' most-capped player, overtaking the record of 129 caps held by Gethin Jenkins.[37]

On 24 October 2020, Jones equalled Richie McCaw's record for the most international appearances, 148 caps, during Wales' 38–21 loss to France.[38] A week later he set a new record, winning his 149th cap against Scotland.[39] On 19 March 2022 he lost his 150th cap, at home against Italy.[40]

On 19 May 2023, Jones announced his immediate retirement from international rugby along with fellow Welsh international Justin Tipuric.[41]

British and Irish Lions[edit]

In 2009, Jones was one of 13 Welsh players selected in the squad for the British & Irish Lions' tour to South Africa. Jones appeared in the provincial matches against Royal XV, when he scored his first Lions try, Golden Lions, and Sharks. Jones then started the first test alongside Paul O'Connell against South Africa, with the team losing 26–21 in Durban. Jones appeared as a replacement in the remaining two tests, a defeat and a win, as the series ended in a 2–1 defeat for the Lions. In total he played 24 games across 4 tours (including 12 tests) scoring 2 tries.

Jones received his second Lions selection on 30 April 2013, for the tour to Australia. Jones played and scored in a warm up game against the Barbarians before appearing in provincial games against Western Force, Combined Country and Waratahs. Jones started at Lock in the first test, playing a role in a 23–21 win, as well as in the second test defeat in Melbourne. Due to Sam Warburton's tour-ending injury in the second test, Jones was selected as captain for the deciding third test in Sydney,[42] which the Lions won 41–16. This made him the first substitute captain to lead the Lions to victory in the final test of a series since 1904.[43]

On 19 April 2017, Jones was again selected for the Lions ahead of their tour to New Zealand. Jones captained the Lions for the second time in the provincial game against the Crusaders as the Lions won 3–12. Jones was once again first choice Lock for the tour, starting at 4 in the first test and 5 in the second and third and left New Zealand as the first player in the professional era to play in nine consecutive British & Irish Lions tests.[44] During the Lions tour he became one of only seven Lions players to have beaten South Africa, Australia and New Zealand while touring these countries, following the 24–21 win in the second test. Jones started in all three tests of the series against the All Blacks.

On 6 May 2021, Jones was selected and named captain of the British and Irish Lions for their tour to South Africa.[45] He dislocated his shoulder in the warm-up match against Japan in Edinburgh on 26 June but returned to play in the successful first test win against the Springboks four weeks later. Jones played in all three tests to reach 12 British and Irish Lions caps. South Africa won the final test 19–16 and the series by two games to one.[46]


On 28 May 2023, Jones captained the Barbarians to a 48-42 victory over a World XV.[47] Three days later, Jones would then play for both the Barbarians and Swansea RFC, swapping teams at half-time, in a game at the St Helen's ground, celebrating Swansea's 150th anniversary.[48]

On 10 August 2023, it was announced that Jones would play again for the Barbarians, against Wales, on 4 November, at the Principality Stadium.[49] In the match, Jones captained the Barbarians, scored a try, and was named Man of the Match, despite his team losing 49-26 to Wales. In an on-field interview after the match, Jones thanked the crowd in the stadium for their support over his career, as well as mentioning fellow players retiring from international duty, including Justin Tipuric, Leigh Halfpenny, and the absent Dan Biggar.[50]

International tries[edit]

Try Opponent Location Venue Tests Date Result
1  Argentina Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2007 Rugby World Cup warm-up matches 18 August 2007 Win
2  Canada Nantes, France Stade de la Beaujoire 2007 Rugby World Cup 9 September 2007 Win
3  Japan Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2007 Rugby World Cup 20 September 2007 Win
4  Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland Murrayfield 2009 Six Nations 8 February 2009 Win
5  South Africa Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2010 Summer Internationals 5 June 2010 Loss
6  Argentina Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up matches 20 August 2011 Win
7  Namibia New Plymouth, New Zealand Yarrow Stadium 2011 Rugby World Cup 26 September 2011 Win
8  Australia Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2014 Autumn Internationals 8 November 2014 Loss
9  New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Westpac Stadium 2016 Tour of New Zealand 18 June 2016 Loss

Personal life[edit]

Jones and his wife, Dr. Anwen Jones, have three daughters.

Jones studied part-time for a degree in law at Swansea University, graduating on 21 July 2010.[51]

Jones was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to rugby union in Wales.[52] He was invested, by Prince William, in a ceremony at Windsor Castle, on 9 November 2021.[53]




Wales U21[edit]


British & Irish Lions[edit]



Belonging: The Autobiography, 2021, Pan Macmillan ISBN 978-1529058093


  1. ^ a b "Alun Wyn Jones". Welsh Rugby Union | Wales & Regions. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  2. ^ Jones also played in the home match against Japan in 2021; it was decided that this match would not be given test status, but in November 2021 the Lions Board decided that all players would be awarded caps.
  3. ^ "LIONS V JAPAN UPDATE". Lions Rugby. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  4. ^ Alun Wyn are his given names and his surname is Jones.
  5. ^ a b Greenwood, Will (16 March 2019). "Time to remember the name – Alun Wyn Jones could be Europe's greatest ever". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ "Alun Wyn Jones' international record as Wales and Lions great calls it a day". The Independent. 19 May 2023. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Veterans salute third Grand Slam". BBC Sport.
  8. ^ "Alun Wyn Jones set for freedom of home city | Ospreys".
  9. ^ "Alun Wyn Jones".
  10. ^ Orders, Mark (4 September 2020). "Alun Wyn Jones' team-mates from his first pro rugby game 15 years ago today". WalesOnline.
  11. ^ "Border Reivers 16–6 Ospreys". 18 September 2005 – via
  12. ^ "Ospreys 23–6 Leicester". 12 April 2008 – via
  13. ^ Orders, Mark (4 September 2020). "Alun Wyn Jones' team-mates from his first pro rugby game 15 years ago today". WalesOnline. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  14. ^ "LionsWatch: Biggar and Jones shine as Giles scores twice in big Ospreys win". British & Irish Lions. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  15. ^ James, Ben (7 July 2023). "Alun Wyn Jones signs for Toulon as European giants announce World Cup signing". WalesOnline. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  16. ^ "Alun Wyn Jones: Former Wales captain signs for Toulon as 'medical joker' for World Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  17. ^ "Alun Wyn Jones: Former Wales captain retires to standing ovation with Toulon".
  18. ^ "Wales U21 32-5 Ireland U21". 18 March 2005.
  19. ^ "Argentina 45-27 Wales". 17 June 2006.
  20. ^ "Wales 27-18 England". 17 March 2007.
  21. ^ "BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | Welsh | Wales 27-20 Argentina". BBC News. 18 August 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  22. ^ "Wales 42-17 Canada". 9 September 2007.
  23. ^ "Wales 34-38 Fiji". 29 September 2007.
  24. ^ "England 19-26 Wales". 2 February 2008.
  25. ^ "Wales coach makes three changes". 5 February 2008.
  26. ^ "Wales vs France - Report - Six Nations 2008 - 15 Mar, 2008 - ESPN".
  27. ^ "Scotland 13-26 Wales". 8 February 2009.
  28. ^ "Six Nations: Alun-Wyn Jones to captain much-changed Wales against Italy in Rome". 5 March 2009.
  29. ^ "Wales 2010 Six Nations Squad". BBC News. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  30. ^ "Coach Warren Gatland blasts Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones". BBC Sport. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  31. ^ "Autumn international: Wales 24–20 Argentina". BBC Sport. 12 November 2016.
  32. ^ "Alun Wyn Jones replaces Sam Warburton as Wales captain". the Guardian. 17 January 2017.
  34. ^ "Rugby-Wales' Jones suffered knee ligament damage in Six Nations decider". Reuters. 23 March 2019.
  35. ^ "Ospreys' Alun Wyn Jones and George North could miss a month and Scott Williams' season over". Sky Sports.
  36. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (22 March 2019). "Alun Wyn Jones: Wales' legendary leader & player of the 2019 Six Nations". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Wales hold out to beat Australia". BBC Sport.
  38. ^ Bywater, Alex (24 October 2020). "Jones admits need for improvement after France leave Wales beaten again". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  39. ^ "Scotland win in Wales to end 18-year wait". BBC Sport.
  40. ^ "Six Nations: Wales' Alun Wyn Jones on reaching 150 caps".
  41. ^ "Jones and Tipuric announce shock Wales retirements". BBC Sport. 19 May 2023. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  42. ^ Palmer, Bryn (3 July 2013). "Lions 2013: Alun Wyn Jones captain as Brian O'Driscoll omitted". Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  43. ^ Griffiths, John (17 July 2013). "Who was the last Scot to start a Test for Lions?". Ask John. ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  44. ^ "2017 Lions Player Retrospective: Alun Wyn Jones". British & Irish Lions. 13 July 2017.
  45. ^ "British and Irish Lions 2021: Sam Simmonds in 37-man squad but Billy Vunipola misses out". BBC Sport. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  46. ^ "South Africa 19–16 British and Irish Lions: Morne Steyn's late penalty wins series". BBC Sport. 7 August 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  47. ^ "Folau booed as Jones' Barbarians beat World XV". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  48. ^ "Jones had 'tear in eye' as Barbarians beat Swansea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  49. ^ "Wales announce Barbarians game to celebrate Jones". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  50. ^ "Wales beat Baa-Baas in rousing send-off for stars". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  51. ^ Mockford, S. "Spotlight on Alun-Wyn Jones", Rugby World, May 2007
  52. ^ "No. 63135". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 October 2020. p. B13.
  53. ^ Sands, Katie (9 November 2021). "Alun Wyn Jones receives honour from Prince William as his proud wife watches on". WalesOnline. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  1. ^ The others are Willie John McBride and Mike Gibson (5 tours each) and Brian O'Driscoll (4 tours).
  2. ^ The others are Gerald Davies, Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams, Ryan Jones, Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins.[7][8]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by Wales captain
Succeeded by
Preceded by British & Irish Lions captain
Succeeded by