Alun Wyn Jones’ decision to stay with the Ospreys has been welcomed as a chance to continue the Wales captain’s legacy, according to his regional coach Allen Clarke.
The likely World Cup skipper has ended uncertainty over his future by agreeing a new two-year deal to stay at the Liberty Stadium.
Even though the Welsh Rugby Union have scrapped dual contracts, they have made an exception with Jones in a deal that ties him to both. It also means that at the age of 33, the second row is now likely to see out his playing career with his home-town region.
“Alun Wyn has spent his entire career with the Ospreys and I expect him to continue his legacy as a player and well beyond his playing days,” said Clarke.
“He’s a tremendous individual and a winner with a deep hunger for the Ospreys to be successful on and off the field.
“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for us as a club and all Ospreys and Wales supporters.
“Alun Wyn is a man I have the upmost respect for; he is greatly admired not just because of what he’s achieved and what he represents as a local boy playing for his home Region and Country but importantly because of the ambition and level of performance he consistently displays.”
Jones had attracted interest from ambitious Bristol, plus a number of others clubs in both England and France, but has managed to extend his current dual-funded deal.
The agreement enables Wales to manage his appearances throughout the season.
Jones said: “I’m happy to announce that I have signed a contract extension to June 2021 with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Ospreys and will be playing at the Liberty Stadium for the foreseeable future.
“After serious consideration and taking stock of all options, it is the right decision for my career at this point in time, along with my personal ambitions on and off the field, my welfare and needs of my family.
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to tell you directly, in particular to the Ospreys supporters and all those who have supported me during my career to date.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said: “This announcement is a huge boost for Welsh rugby.
“Alun Wyn is hugely respected across the game and I’m delighted he has committed his future here in Wales and that he will be continuing to play for his hometown region.
“The extension allows the WRU and the Ospreys to continue working together with Alun Wyn to ensure he has the very best of environments to thrive in.”