Sport Warren Gatland's touching tribute to Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones, the man who stood alongside him

13:00  31 october  2020
13:00  31 october  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

France 38-21 Wales: Dupont double spoils Jones landmark appearance

  France 38-21 Wales: Dupont double spoils Jones landmark appearance Antoine Dupont scored two tries as France denied Wales victory on Alun Wyn Jones' record-equalling 148th international appearance.By representing his country at the Stade de France, Wales captain Jones drew level with New Zealand great Richie McCaw as the most-capped international rugby union players in history.

Alun Wyn Jones OBE (born 19 September 1985) is a Welsh professional rugby union player. He is the current captain of the Wales national team, and the former captain of the Ospreys.

Wales Rugby head coach Warren Gatland and captain Alun Wyn Jones speak to the press following their 43-14 victoria over Georgia in Toyota. Please subscribe

Warren Gatland has saluted Alun Wyn Jones' "unbelievable" international career as the Wales captain prepares to break the world Test match appearance record today.

Ospreys lock Jones will overtake New Zealand World Cup-winning skipper Richie McCaw's 148 Tests when he leads Wales out to face Six Nations opponents Scotland in Llanelli.

Gatland worked closely with the "unbelievable competitor" during a 12-year reign as Wales supremo, appointing him skipper.

And the Lions boss said of Alun Wyn: "Incredibly well-respected, loved in Wales, he’s admired around the world. I've got a huge amount of respect for him.

The real Alun Wyn Jones, personal tales from the men who know Wales' record-breaking captain best

  The real Alun Wyn Jones, personal tales from the men who know Wales' record-breaking captain best Second row Jones will make history in Wales' Six Nations clash against Scotland this Saturday when he becomes the most-capped rugby player of all time When he leads Wales out against Scotland at Parc y Scarlets it will be his 149th Test appearance - his 140th for his country to go with nine for the Lions.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Alun Wyn Jones at Wales ' World Cup arrival press conference in Kitakyushu, Japan, on Sunday. Warren Gatland says

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones lifts the Six Nations trophy Credit: reuters. Wales hammered Ireland 25-7 in Cardiff to claim a first Six Nations Grand What a fantastic servant he has been to Wales . And to northern hemisphere rugby in general. Not that anyone needed convincing but a third Grand Slam

"It's an amazing accolade to become the world's most capped player, particularly from a small nation like Wales. I think he's going to set the bar incredibly high.

"He came into the role late after Sam Warburton, but he's done an excellent job in the way that he's led in his own way."

Not surprised Jones is reaching this milestone, Gatland credits the Wales skipper learning how to manage himself in recent years.

Gatland explained: "Trying to get him to have a rest or a break, he didn't always want to do that. I’d say ‘how you feeling? and he’d say ‘I'm fresh’.

"A couple of years ago he said to me ‘I wish I'd listened to you a little bit earlier about managing myself’ and I’d say 'Hopefully that experience that now you've got, if you end up in that situation again you'll be able to pass that knowledge on to someone else who may happen to be in the same situation'.

Six Nations 2020: Jones to break Test caps record when Wales face Scotland

  Six Nations 2020: Jones to break Test caps record when Wales face Scotland Richie McCaw's 148 Test caps will be surpassed by Alun Wyn Jones when Wales take on Scotland in Llanelli on Saturday.Wales captain Jones will break the record set by New Zealand great Richie McCaw when he makes his 149th appearance at Parc y Scarlets this weekend.

England prop Joe Marler appears to grab Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in the genitals. The veteran lock appears bemused as he attempts to confront Marler in the aftermath. Project Big Picture is DEAD: Premier League clubs REJECT the Man United and Liverpool-led plan but agree to a full

Shane Lewis-Hughes, already dubbed as a clone to the great Alun Wyn Jones , might be the most excitable 'It' s been amazing to see how he operates,' Lewis-Hughes says of captain Jones . 'In the gym we They call him 'crazy' at the Cardiff Blues which the man who has 'obsessed to be the best'

"I think he's got a fantastic balance between rugby, training and home and he's matured incredibly well, is unbelievably respected by the players - the example that he sets at training, the high expectations that he has on himself.

"What I admire about him is he still never takes the jersey for granted, you know he's still waiting for selection. ‘If I'm selected next week’ those sort of comments that he makes.

"He respects the opportunity that he’s had to play for Wales, he’s so proud as a passionate Welshman to have played. And of course the Lions, as well."

Jones' name will be etched into the history books when he leads Wales out at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday afternoon, although Gatland believes the recognition outside Wales has only been relatively recent.

“That recognition didn't come early on, even though he was performing well. Wales were doing well, and his performances for the Lions, but it’s not probably until the last three four years that he's had that recognition worldwide because of what he's achieved," continued Gatland.

Six Nations 2020: Warrior, winner and leader – record-breaking Alun Wyn Jones has stood the test of time

  Six Nations 2020: Warrior, winner and leader – record-breaking Alun Wyn Jones has stood the test of time Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones will make a world record 149th international appearance when he leads his country against Scotland.Jones will break new ground at Parc y Scarlets when he wins a 149th international cap, surpassing New Zealand great Richie McCaw's tally.

"In the words of Alun Wyn Jones , he said 'I've been waiting 15 years for someone like Shane to come along '. "If you look at Alun Wyn in terms of his preparation, the way he trains, and the way he reviews and previews his opposition, Shane Lewis-Hughes is a clone.

FURIOUS rugby fans called for Joe Marler to face sex assault charges after he grabbed Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones ' England' s Joe Marler faces a minimum 12-week ban for grabbing Alun Wyn JonesCredit But ex- Wales and Lions centre Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, joked

"He’s done a great job, he leads from the front, he’s honest and hopefully that team can go out there and deliver a performance for him against Scotland - give him a game to remember in terms of breaking the record of probably one of the greatest rugby players that will be remembered, Richie McCaw."

Jones made his Wales debut in 2006 and has helped his country win four Six Nations titles, three Grand Slams and reach two World Cup semi-finals, and there's no sign of him slowing down just yet.

Asked if Jones can make it to another Lions tour and whether age was a factor in selection, Gatland - preparing for the 2021 tour to South Africa - said: "Age is no limit because when you’re looking at a Lions squad you’re not thinking about the future, you’re not thinking about four years’ time.

"It's about picking the best players and if his form’s good enough... One of the things about Alun Wyn is he’s incredibly honest about his own performance.

“I think he's got ambitions for next year with the Lions - it's a position with a huge amount of quality and depth and that's going be a challenge for him.

Alun Wyn Jones' request for family to attend record match is rejected

  Alun Wyn Jones' request for family to attend record match is rejected Jones requested that mother Ann, wife Anwen, and daughters Mali and Efa were able to attend but the Welsh government have ruled they are not allowed into Parc y Scarlets. © Provided by Daily Mail Alun Wyn Jones will become most-capped international player of all time in an empty stadium ‘Had it been different, a normal occasion, we would have cracked on and nothing would have been said,’ said Jones.

Warren Gatland has watched the current Wales captain mature throughout his reign and believes there' s no doubt that he will go down as a legend of Welsh Alun Wyn Jones will earn his 123rd Wales cap in Cardiff on Saturday. As every major tournament comes around, the legend gets bigger.

Welsh Captain Alun Wyn Jones reflects on a tight battle with Fiji as his side make it through to the Quarter Finals SUBSCRIBE to World Rugby on Youtube - htt England 33-19 Wales : Warren Gatland and Alun Wyn Jones press conference.

"It's important that he has a good Six Nations - he'll know that, but if he does end up in South Africa in 2021, it would be his fourth Lions tour which is an incredible feat."

Alun Wyn Jones playing a game of frisbee in a field: Alun Wyn Jones during Wales training © Huw Evans Picture Agency Alun Wyn Jones during Wales training

And what about the 2023 Rugby World Cup?

The second row will be 38 when the 2023 showpiece starts, but Wales head coach Wayne Pivac - who says Jones is "first on the teamsheet" - feels he could still be representing his country at the tournament in France.

"If you look at it on ability and form, I would have to say that there is no reason why he couldn't go to a World Cup, should he stay injury free," said Gatland.

"Everybody, though, does have that time when the body starts to slow down. Some go off a cliff quicker than others.

"But there is no reason why Alun Wyn couldn't be one of those where you throw away the birth certificate and you just look at what he's doing on a daily basis.

"How many more caps could he potentially have? Maybe another 10 or 20.

"He might get through the next year and think ‘if I look after myself and manage myself well, I can make it to France in 2023’.

"Or, like a lot of players who are sort of in their mid-30s and thinking about the future, one day the light bulb might turn on and say, ‘I've achieved everything I wanted to do and, it's time to retire’.

"So we'll wait for that day when he does decide to call it quits and I'm sure that we'll celebrate what has been an unbelievable career internationally.

"What he does after rugby, who knows?"

  • Warren Gatland was speaking on behalf of Canterbury at the launch of the British & Irish Lions pro jersey available at Canterbury.com

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