Jones caps incredible year with BBC SPOTY nomination
Wales and British & Irish Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones has rounded off an amazing 2019 with a nomination for the BBC’s illustrious Sports Personality of the Year award.
Jones – who has featured in each of the last nine Lions Test matches across three Tours – captained Wales to Grand Slam glory at the start of the year.
The 34-year-old second row led his side on a record winning streak of 14 matches, and before the Rugby World Cup they even briefly climbed to the top of the world rankings for the first time ever.
Then in Japan at the Rugby World Cup, Jones continued his quest for both individual and team glory.
Wales made the semi-finals of the tournament for only the third time in their history, and the second time for Jones after 2011, before being edged out by eventual champions South Africa 19-16.
That defeat in Yokohama, followed by a loss to the All Blacks in the bronze match meant Jones and co had to settle for fourth overall.
But the lock could console himself with a personal haul of 143 Test caps and counting, 134 for Wales and nine for the Lions, that takes him second overall with only Richie McCaw ahead of him.
Jones was also a nominee for World Rugby’s Men’s 15s Player of the Year, but was edged out by World Cup winner Pieter-Steph du Toit for that award.
Your @BBCSPOTY 2019 contenders have been revealed!
🌟 Dina Asher-Smith
🌟 Lewis Hamilton
🌟 Katarina Johnson-Thompson
🌟 Alun Wyn Jones
🌟 Raheem Sterling
🌟 Ben Stokes
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 25, 2019
He will start as one of the outsiders for next month’s BBC award on a shortlist that includes Ashes and World Cup hero Ben Stokes, athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and Premier League winner Raheem Sterling.
But with the whole of Wales and the rugby community behind him, you write off Jones at your peril.
And with the 2020 Guinness Six Nations around the corner, and Jones showing no signs of stopping any time soon, a 2021 Lions Tour might well be on the cards for the Ospreys lock.