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Wales great quits international rugby ahead of World Cup

NEWS: Wales were hit by a dramatic double blow on Friday as Alun Wyn Jones, the world’s most-capped international, and fellow senior forward Justin Tipuric both announced their retirement from Test duty just four months before the side’s Rugby World Cup opener against Fiji in Bordeaux.


They had both been included in Wales coach Warren Gatland’s 54-man World Cup preliminary training squad, which is due to assemble next week.

Jones, a 37-year-old lock, made 170 international appearances, including 158 for Wales and 12 for the British and Irish Lions in a 17-year Test career.

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

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

Former Wales captain Jones made four tours with the Lions, in 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2021, when he skippered the combined side in South Africa.

He also won three Grand Slams and five Six Nations titles with Wales.


“The opportunity to be professional in the sport I love was a dream come true,” said the second row, set to appear for the Barbarians against a World XV and hometown club Swansea later this month.

“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.”

‘Right time’

Jones’s decision was made public less than an hour after Ospreys team-mate Tipuric, a veteran of 93 Tests, announced he too was quitting the international game.

“During the off season I’ve had time to reflect on my career and now seems the right time to step away from international rugby,” the flanker said in a statement.


“It has been a privilege to put on the Welsh jersey and have so many great memories,” added Tipuric, who made his Wales debut in 2011 and appeared in his lone Test for the Lions, against Australia, two years later.

The 33-year-old also won four Six Nations titles, including two Grand Slams, and was a key figure in helping Wales reach the World Cup semifinals in both 2015 and 2019, and had been set to appear at his third edition of the global showpiece tournament in France later this year.

Tipuric, however, stressed he would be continuing his career with the Ospreys, the Swansea-based regional side.

“I am looking forward to spending more time at home and putting all my energies into playing for my home region the Ospreys,” he said.

Friday’s announcements came a month after another Wales back-row Josh Navidi was forced into retirement because of a serious neck problem.

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