Jones calls time on Wales career


Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Wales prop Adam Jones has announced his retirement from international rugby – just five days after being left out of Warren Gatland’s squad for this season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Jones, a triple Grand Slam winner who played in 95 Tests for Wales and five as a British and Irish Lion, has called time on his Test career at the age of 33.

He was also overlooked by Wales head coach Gatland for the autumn internationals earlier this season.

Scarlets forward Samson Lee, 11 years Jones’ junior, has established himself as Wales’ first-choice tighthead, with Aaron Jarvis and Scott Andrews also named among a 34-man Six Nations party.

Before the squad was announced, Jones had been strongly backed to earn a recall, especially when Scarlets forward Rhodri Jones was ruled out of the entire Six Nations tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Speaking last Tuesday, Gatland said: “At the moment, Samson is our number one tighthead and we have been very impressed with his progress.

“We know exactly what Adam can and can’t do, and things that he is still working on.

“I don’t think he is the sort of player that you pick on the bench and ask to make an impact. He is a starting number three.

“I know that he is working hard and the door is definitely not closed. When we name a larger squad of 45 in the summer to start preparing for the World Cup, he has got a big chance of being part of that.”

Cardiff Blues forward Jones, though, said he that he made up his mind before Christmas that he would step down from the international scene if he failed to make the Six Nations cut.

“I was gutted to miss out on the autumn,” Jones told the Sunday Times.

“I told myself then that I would train as hard as I can and get as fit as I can. If it didn’t happen, then I’ll call it a day.”

He added: “It’s obviously not the way I would want to finish, it’s not how I planned it in my head, and I hope no-one thinks I am simply quitting.”

Jones pointed to the disappointments of being dropped for the match against Scotland at the end of last year’s Six Nations, and his “30-minute match” in South Africa in the summer, when he was replaced by Samson Lee after half an hour.

That 38-16 first Test defeat against South Africa in Durban last summer has transpired to be Jones’ 95th and final game for his country.

He is, though, set to continue playing for the Blues. Jones was part of the side that secured a European Challenge Cup quarter-final place on Saturday by defeating Grenoble 28-3 in France.

Jones, meanwhile, said he had no issue with Gatland, beyond believing he still should be in the Wales squad.

“Warren is the man who came in and saved me, he gave me a kick up the (backside), so he has been a massive influence on me, and I’m very grateful,” Jones added.

” I don’t agree with what he’s done now, I don’t agree with him not picking me. But he’s got to pick who he thinks is best.”

Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

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