Rugby: Wales great Alun Wyn Jones announces retirement, will not play Rugby World Cup

Alun Wyn Jones.
Alun Wyn Jones. Photo credit: Getty Images

Wales stalwart Alun Wyn Jones has announced his retirement from international rugby, months before the World Cup in France, revealing his decision came after discussions with coach Warren Gatland.

Lock Jones, 37, is the most-capped player in test rugby with 158 appearances for Wales and 12 for British & Irish Lions.

He seemed poised for a fifth World Cup this year, after overcoming repeated shoulder injuries in recent seasons, but says he made the decision after "ongoing dialogue with the coaching staff and the Welsh Rugby Union".

"After 17 years, I look back on special memories with Welsh greats and future Welsh greats," Jones said. "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."

Jones won five Six Nations titles with Wales, including three Grand Slams, and went on four tours with the Lions.

Meanwhile, flanker Justin Tipuric, 33, is also hanging up his boots for his country. Tipuric captained Wales in the autumn internationals late last year and has 93 caps, since debuting in 2011, plus one appearance for British & Irish Lions.

He was expected to be a key figure for Gatland in France, although he has also battled injury in recent seasons, missing the entire 2021/22 campaign.

"During the off-season, I've had time to reflect on my playing career and now seems the right time to step away from international rugby," Tipuric said. "It's been a privilege to put on the Welsh jersey and have so many great memories.

"I'm looking forward to spending more time at home and putting all my energies into playing for my home region the Ospreys."

Tipuric was a central figure when Wales reached the semi-finals of the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

The announcements come a week before a 54-player extended Wales squad gather for a pre-World Cup training camp.

Both Jones and Tipuric had been named in that selection by Gatland.