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Alun Wyn Jones – The Greatest Osprey Goes Past Paul James, Duncan Jones, Dan Biggar, Shane Williams, Barry Williams, Scot Gibbs . . .

Alun Wyn Jones will pass another milestone on Friday night with a salute from one of those he has overtaken on the way.

The Wales captain will play his 233rd match for the region when they host Zebre at the Liberty Stadium – more than any other player in their 15-year history.

Andrew Millward, the Ospreys’ managing director, is one of those who have been long passed on the road by the second row who will edge past Paul James’ mark of 232.

Duncan Jones is third on 223, with the Dan Biggar – the only other still playing in the top six list – back in fourth on 221, following his move to Northampton.

Scott Gibbs and Barry Williams, the first Ospreys captains, are long in the rear view mirror as is Shane Williams who still, at least, is well clear on his own at the top of the region’s all-time try-scoring list.

Biggar might well have gone past Jones at some stage had he decided to stay in Swansea, but the only other current Osprey within realistic reach of the 33-year-old is Justin Tipuric who has made 161 appearances so far.

He is a wonderful ambassador for his home region, and for Wales, a true one-off,” says Millward.

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“After 232 games for the Ospreys and 129 international appearances, he is arguably playing better than ever. He is a one-off in that respect.

“When he first came through the Academy ranks it was clear that he was destined for great things and his list of achievements, for the Ospreys, Wales and the Lions, is as impressive as it is long.

“His determination, loyalty and sheer will-to-win are trademarks that have served him well throughout his career and continue to. His modesty is another trademark and he will hate being centre of attention but it is only right that we pay tribute to him as he sets a new appearance record.

Jones has firmly established himself as one of the greats of the world game, and his commitment to the Ospreys shines as bright as ever with the former Bonymaen and Swansea player coming straight back into regional action after a busy November on the international scene.

Featuring three times for Wales during the autumn series, last weekend he played his 120th game for his country in the win against Australia.

Six days later he will feature for the Ospreys against the Italians of Zebre as the Guinness Pro 14 resumes at the Liberty Stadium.

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Millward, who packed down alongside Alun Wyn on 17 occasions -including his debut against Leinster in September 2005 – added: “What is there to say about Alun Wyn Jones, that hasn’t already been said?

“He is a true Ospreys legend and I’m sure supporters will join me in saluting him on Friday night.”

 

Alun Wyn Jones – Record Breaker 

Alun Wyn Jones’ 233rd appearance comes just over 15 years after his debut and less than a week after his 120th Wales cap.

He has been a mainstay of both the Ospreys and Wales packs for over a decade since becoming one of the first youngsters to come through the regional development pathway.

Having featured in the first game at the Liberty Stadium, a pre-season fixture against Wasps at the end of August 2005, his senior Ospreys debut came the following weekend as a second half replacement in the region’s first competitive game at their new home, a Magners League win against Leinster.

Since then he has so far managed to clock up an impressive 232 Ospreys appearances to date, level with Paul James, and is one of only five players to have worn the shirt more than 200 times. His tally of 25 tries is the second highest by a forward.

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He was appointed captain of his home region in August 2010 and led the team on 115 occasions, more than double any other player, prior to standing down from the role this summer.

Having represented Wales at age-grade level, the former Bonymaen RFC and Swansea RFC youngster made his full international debut on the 2006 tour of Argentina.

In total, he has 120 Wales caps and was part of three Six Nations winning sides including the Grand Slams of 2008 and 2012.  He captained Wales for the first time in 2009, against Italy, taking the armband three more times in 2014, before being formally appointed national skipper in 2017.

Selected for three British & Irish Lions tours, to South Africa (2009), Australia (2013) and New Zealand (2017), he played in all nine tests and captained the team in the decisive series winning third test in Australia.

Only seven players have represented the Lions on more occasions, while his international total of 129 appearances (Wales and Lions) puts him eighth in the all-time world list.

 

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