Jones not ready to retire

Stephen Jones may be about to win his 100th Wales cap but he has no intention of retiring any time soon. [more]

Jones not ready to retire

Stephen Jones may be about to win his 100th Wales cap but he has no intention of retiring any time soon.

The double Lions tourist is expected to reach the magical milestone when Wales host the Barbarians on June 4, some 13 years after making his debut in the 90-point thrashing by South Africa in 1998.

And while Jones may end up playing second fiddle to fellow Lion James Hook at this year’s World Cup, the 34-year-old has no plans to walk away from the international game.

“I’ve always enjoyed my rugby and the day I stop enjoying it is the day I’ll retire,” Jones told the Western Mail.

“But at the moment it’s great. I enjoy the rugby environment, I enjoy the working week and I’ll try and keep going.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

“I just love playing rugby and that’s been the key factor. I enjoy being challenged as a player and trying to improve myself.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with some fantastic people and enjoyed it and that’s the bottom line for me.”

Whether Jones wins the fly-half battle with Hook or not this summer, it is almost inconceivable that the Scarlets star won’t travel to New Zealand for the autumn World Cup.

The latest global gathering would be his fourth following appearances in 1999, 2003 and 2007 and Jones is desperate to make amends for Wales’ failure to reach the knockout stages last time out.

As well as taking on the Barbarians next month, Jones and co face England (twice) and Argentina in August as they finalise their preparations for an opening World Cup showdown with reigning champions South Africa on September 11.

“We had disappointment in 2007 and it would be nice to show what Welsh rugby is about and how good we are as a side. That’s the challenge every player faces,” added Jones.

“The ball is rolling. It’s all about momentum. I suppose the first hurdle is June 4 and it’s important we perform.

“If you look at the quality of the Baa-Baas squad, it’s top drawer. They are all fantastic players.

“We know we are going to have a difficult afternoon then, but we look forward to that challenge. It will certainly be interesting.”

Previous story Cooper confirms commitment
Next story Edwards going nowhere
Download