Injury forces Jones to retire

Dafydd Jones has been forced to hang up his boots after failing to overcome a lengthy shoulder injury. [more]

Injury forces Jones to retire

Dafydd Jones has been forced to hang up his boots after failing to overcome a lengthy shoulder injury.

The Scarlets and Wales back row man, who is currently in the middle of his benefit season at Parc y Scarlets, picked up the A/C joint shoulder injury playing for Wales against New Zealand in November 2009.

He underwent an operation for shoulder reconstruction two days later. Seven months on, after receiving further medical advice, he had a second operation to repair significant nerve damage and to attempt to regain more power back in his left shoulder.

The agonising decision to retire was finally made before Christmas after a further consultation with specialists and brought to an end 13 years of senior rugby for his club and a run of 42 caps for his country.

The 31-year-old Aberystwyth-born flanker played his last game in a Scarlets shirt against the Dragons on 23 October, 2009, and won his last Welsh cap against New Zealand as a replacement on 7 November the same year.

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“This has been a really tough time for me and my family and it’s a very hard decision to retire from rugby. It has been the sport and career I’ve known and loved since I was a teenager and all my efforts have gone into playing rugby for the Scarlets and for Wales,” said Jones.
“I’m very proud of, and enjoyed, everything I have done in the game and it has taken a while to sink in that I’m not actually going to be playing any more. But the decision was really made for me as the medics said there was no way back from the damage caused by the injury.

“The good thing is I have great memories of playing. I’m lucky that I’ve played alongside, against and worked with some world-class rugby greats.

“I’ve had great opportunities as a player – a World Cup in 2003, being part of the Wales squad for the 2005 Grand Slam and then there’s the 2004 international against the All Blacks and being up against Richie McCaw. I won’t forget that contest!

“There have been lots of great Scarlets highlights. Beating Northampton at Franklin Gardens, the Toulouse back-to-back wins in Europe and I was part of a Magners League title win for the Scarlets as well.

“I’d really like to thank everyone who has supported me over the past decade and a half and I appreciate all the chances and experiences I’ve had. I haven’t decided fully what I want to do next, but I’m really grateful to the Scarlets for giving me the next six months to get experience of working within the region to help me identify where my future path might be and find out what’s best for me and my family.”

Over the next six months Jones will undertake various roles within the Scarlets region to develop his non-rugby skills and experience. These roles will include assisting with the Academy, working within the community department to help inspire young players of the future and sponsor relationship duties.

Jones’ love affair with the Scarlets began when he made the first of his 201 senior appearances against Leeds on St Valentine’s Day in 1997. He went on to score 24 tries and won 115 of his outings in the famous scarlet jersey.

His Wales debut came against Fiji on 9 November, 2002 when he became the 165th Scarlet player to play for Wales. He scored two tries for his country, against Italy and Romania.

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