Jones and Tipuric retire from international rugby

British & Irish Lions duo Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric have retired from international rugby.  [more]

Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric

British & Irish Lions duo Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric have retired from international rugby.

Jones earned 12 Test caps for the Lions across four Tours between 2009 and 2021 and was captain on his final Tour in 2021. He retires as the most capped player of all time, having earned 158 caps for Wales.

Tipuric was a member of the 2013, 2017 and 2021 Tours, earning one Test cap in the Lions’ 41-16 win over Australia in the third Test of the 2013 Tour.

In that game, Jones took over the captaincy from the injured Sam Warburton, leading the side to a series victory.

Jones is part of an elite club alongside Willie John McBride, Mike Gibson, and Brian O’Driscoll as the only four men to have been selected on four or more Lions Tours and departs the international scene as one of the finest to have ever worn the famous red shirt.

He said: “Having been selected in this year’s preliminary Rugby World Cup squad, and after ongoing dialogue with the coaching staff and the WRU, I have decided to step away from the international game.

“So, after 17 years I look back on special memories with Welsh greats and future Welsh greats. My grandfather and father nurtured my passion for rugby in my younger days which has continued throughout.

“The opportunity to be professional in the sport I love was a dream come true and to represent my home region, the Ospreys and clubs within the region, namely Mumbles and particularly Bonymaen who guided me in my formative years, was beyond special and something for which I am hugely grateful.

“A huge thank you to the staff and players who have been part of my journey, I wish you well for the future. To the supporters, thank you for the support and making the most special occasions even more memorable.

“To the people closest to me, my family, I couldn’t have done it without you. Through injury, loss and success, you’ve always been there and will be for whatever’s next. Despite all I have accomplished, my children will always be my biggest achievement.”

Both players enjoyed immense success with Wales, playing alongside each other as part of the 2012 and 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam winning sides, two of four Six Nations titles they won together, with Jones also part of the 2008 Grand Slam team.

Both men also captained their country, with Jones’ 52 times as captain a record for Wales, while Tipuric retires from international rugby as one of few players to be a member of three Lions Tours.

“During the off-season I’ve had time to reflect on my career and now seems the right time to step away from international rugby,” said Tipuric.

“It’s been a privilege to put on the Welsh jersey and have so many great memories.

“I’d like to thank all the players and coaches that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years and the wonderful support I’ve received from the Welsh public.

“I’m looking forward to spending more time at home and putting all my energies into playing for my home region the Ospreys.”

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