Ryan Jones’ CV speaks for itself with three Test caps for the Lions, two Grand Slams, an extended stay as Welsh captain and plenty of domestic silverware with the Ospreys to his name.
The 29 year-old hasn’t played in a World Cup, though, and the 36-times capped Jones is desperate to make his bow at rugby’s showpiece event when next year’s tournament arrives in New Zealand.
Jones, who was a standout performer for Britain and Ireland’s elite in 2005, was still learning his trade two years earlier when the World Cup was held in Australia.
And when France hosted the tournament three years ago, the No8 was cruelly ruled out through injury, so New Zealand 2011 is featuring high on Jones’ radar.
“I had my heart set on the last one and I was on the verge of going,” Jones told the Western Mail.
“I had that taken away from me and it was a difficult year for me. From a personal point of view, it is something I dearly want to do. I want to represent Wales in a World Cup. I want to enjoy it and the spectacle of it all.
“I want to be exposed to that and it will be something to tick off my rugby list and be on my rugby CV. If I don’t go, I will finish and look back on my rugby career pretty dissatisfied.”
Jones is set to return to action later this month after missing the early rounds of the season with the knee injury he picked up in Wales’ second-Test defeat to New Zealand in June.
The former Celtic Warrior has seen the captain’s armband at regional level passed over to fellow Lion Alun Wyn Jones but that could work in his favour in what could be a 16-month season if he meets his World Cup aspirations.
Lock Alun Wyn, who played in all three Tests against South Africa for the Lions in 2009, takes over the captaincy as Ospreys head coach Scott Johnson looks to minimize the pressure on namesake Ryan in what is an important year for club and country.
“I am not doing that role now and it allows me to concentrate on trying to ensure I retain the same role with Wales,” added Ryan.
“I did it for three years and I thought I did a pretty good job, but I understand the thought process behind the decision.
“I think Alun Wyn will do a fantastic job.”