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Alun Wyn Jones – A national hero

Victory for Scotland, Victory for Wales

FOLLOWING the tense game between France and Scotland on Friday, with an incredible try from Scottish team at the end of the match that earnt them victory that was memorable in their own right and have progressed well as a team throughout the tournament, and, as a result, Wales was crowned Six Nations Champions on Saturday afternoon.

Amongst the celebrations from fans of the Welsh and Scottish teams there is one man who stands out from the rest. Three words; Alun Wyn Jones. The captain of the Welsh rugby team and a Welsh legend in his own right. Time and time again the Welsh rugby captain has proved himself on the field and off the field respectively and holds a very special place in the hearts of the Welsh people and rugby fans all over the world. 

Here is a look at all of Jones’ achievements throughout the years.

Jones’ start in rugby

Alun Wyn Jones was born and raised in Swansea and broke into the world of rugby at a young age. When he first entered through the doors of Bonymaen RFC he had no idea the career that awaited him. Once he started playing as lock instead of his original position as a blindside flanker there was nothing stopping his incredible rugby journey. By the time, the 2007 Six Nations campaign rolled around he was excelling as a lock and his talent for rugby became evermore clearer to everyone around him. By the following year, in 2008, he was apart of Wales’ winning team that won the Grand Slam.   

The Ospreys and other achievements

His astonishing accomplishments during his career on the field are far too numerable for one paragraph. But to name a few; he became the most-capped international player in Walesduring the 2019 Rugby World Cup in a game against Australia and surpassing the 129 cap record that was previously held by Gethin Jenkins, and currently holds the title for the world’s most-capped Rugby Union player, as of October 2020 when he earned cap 149 against Scotland. 

The Ospreys player is also one of few rugby players in Wales to have one three Grand Slams. With all his extensive accomplishments in rugby, there’s no wonder he’s an OBE and a national Welsh hero. There’s also no surprise that he was declared, “the greatest ever” rugby player from Wales by Jonathan Davies in 2019 and won Player of the Championship by public vote in the same year that had been organised by the sponsor Guinness, during this game he was Wales’ captain and won the 2019 Grand Slam.

Alun Wyn Jones has broken many records during his time a rugby player, including but not limited to, breaking the record in the Ospreys for the highest try (while scoring forward) after he secured his 21st try. He was apart of the winning team that won the Six Nations Championship in 2008, 2012, 2019 and 2021 following Scotland intense win on Friday. He also won The Celtic League/Pro12 as part of the Ospreys team in team in 2006-7, 2009-10, and 2011-12. 

Alun Wyn Jones became the 126th captain to play and represent the Welsh rugby team in 2009 Six Nations game against Italy and in the same year, he was also selected to be one of 13 Welsh players to play as part of the British & Irish Lions’ Tour to South Africa. During the Lions’ Tour to Australia, in 2013, Alun Wyn Jones stood in for Sam Warburton, after he sustained an injury, as substitute captain as became the first substitute captain since 1904 to lead the Lions to victory, in which they won 41-16. 

Two years later in 2015, Jones made in 100th appearance on the field during the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, in which South Africa defeated Wales and went on to win 3rdplace in the cup. 

The nation’s favourite

He is undoubtedly a well-rounded and polished player and has a firm standing in public favour. He has come an incredible way in his career and seems to be a polished man off the pitch as well as on the pitch. This is one of the many reasons Alun Wyn Jones is such a popular player. He tugged at fans heart strings when he gave his coat to the mascot, Joey Hobbs, as he belted the anthem, because the young boy was shivering in the cold rain. Wales went on to win the game against Ireland, and later the grand slam in the same year, but the touching moment definitely secured Alun’s stance as a popular player as fans appreciated seeing such kindness from the father of two. 

Alongside his 2019 award for Six Nations Player of the Championship, with no surprise, Alun Wyn Jones has won man of the match on a number of occasions and notably won man of the match during a game against Argentina in 2016 that happened a little while after the sad passing of his father. Of course, it is no surprise that he has won man of the match so many times when considering his obvious popularity amongst rugby fans and his incredible talent for playing rugby.

As well as his popularity and talent in rugby, it seems Alun Wyn Jones has the brains as well as Braun, as he studied Law in Swansea University and went on to graduate in 2010. His talents, it seems, have no bounds. 

It is obvious to fans, that the 35-year- old will remain a rugby favourite amongst fans even after he stops playing. Another certainty is, whenever Alun Wyn Jones steps foot on the field fans are in for a good game of rugby.