By Paul Jones
Alun Wyn Jones has signed a new one-year contract to stay in Welsh rugby and could yet reach a fifth World Cup.
Jones, 35, is world rugby’s most capped player and a firm favourite to captain the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa this summer.
But he shows no signs of slowing down and was in sensational form as Wales claimed the 2021 Six Nations title.
Now, the folk hero second row has announced he has put pen to paper to play on next season with the Ospreys.
“I am very pleased to extend my current contract for another year,” Jones said. “I’m grateful I get to continue to do what I love and to continue playing for the Ospreys.
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during my career to date and particularly through these difficult times.”
Wales coach Wayne Pivac said: “I’m delighted that Alun’s contract extension has been announced in what is huge news for the game in Wales.
“Alun will go down as one of the greatest players of all time but he is still at the top of the game, performing and winning and he deserves the contract extension, he is an important part of our future.
“It is not just what he does on the field, it is what he does every minute of every training session. He leads both on and off the field in everything that he does.
“He has huge pride in the jersey and playing for his country and that is evident in his preparation, his effort and commitment.
Ospreys coach Toby Booth said:”Alun Wyn Jones’ commitment to delivering high performances, week-in and week out, was evident to everybody during the recent Six Nations campaign when he was undoubtedly one of the players of the tournament.
“His ability to deliver high performances throughout his career is what marks him out as such a world class player and it is great that he believes the Ospreys can deliver on his and the regions ambitions. His commitment to his home region and his teammates are obvious for all to see on a daily basis.
“This confirmation of his future plans, despite being agreed for a long time, shows the respect he has for all and not wanting speculation to hinder preparation for Wales and the Ospreys. This gives everyone an insight into the man behind the player.”
“His journey with the Ospreys now continues. His presence on the field is mirrored with influence on the culture of our team off the field. This will undoubtedly be at the forefront of our improvement going forward.”