Alun Wyn Jones had surgery after being diagnosed with condition late in his career - Ruck

Alun Wyn Jones had surgery after being diagnosed with condition late in his career

Wales rugby legend Alun Wyn Jones has revealed he has undergone surgery for a heart condition.

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World rugby’s record cap-holder, who played 158 times for Wales and made 12 appearances for the British and Irish Lions, had surgery four weeks ago after seeing out his short-term contract with Toulon.

The 38-year-old has now revealed how he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation—a heart condition which causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate—after undergoing a full medical check upon joining the French club in July as World Cup cover.

“I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation,” he told The Telegraph. “It was discovered when I underwent a full medical check, which included an ECG test, when I joined Toulon in July.”

Alun Wyn Jones, Captain of Barbarians lifts the Killik Cup after the The Killik Cup Match between Barbarians and World XV at Twickenham Stadium on 28 May 2023. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

He continued: “My heartbeat was like a galloping horse with six legs. It was all over the shop.

“The things that bring it on for someone my age are likely to be cardiovascular exercise and stress, it occurs in sports like rowing and endurance sports, but it was a shock because throughout my career I have always prided myself on my fitness.”

The five-time Six Nations champion and double Rugby World Cup semi-finalist is calling for players in Wales to be screened for such issues more often.

“There is a lot of talk about welfare in rugby at the minute, but does that cover everything?” he said.

“Is it just things that we can afford? Surely the sport has come to the point where players should be screened more often, especially at a time when the demands in the game are growing.

“I was very lucky how it worked out and will forever be grateful to Toulon for signing me. Had they not offered me a contract, I may never have known about the heart condition.”

New career:

Jones’ off-the-field move into the drinks industry has seen him create a coffee-infused rum named Mimosa.

The brand celebrates the pioneering spirit of the Welsh people who embarked on a life-changing voyage to Patagonia in Argentina in the 19th century.

That voyage began in 1865 when a ship named the Mimosa set sail from Liverpool with 153 passengers on board who dreamed of establishing Welsh-speaking communities in Patagonia.

Alun Wyn Jones facts:

  1. He is the first player in the professional era to have played in nine consecutive Tests for the Lions having been involved in all three series
  2. Alun Wyn Jones has a law degree from Swansea University and he graduated in 2010
  3. nothing. Second rows wearing white rugby boots was quite unusual. That’s how he got the nickname Alun Gwyn Boots
  4. His father, Tim Jones, was a respected solicitor who also played rugby for Swansea, and his funeral in 2016 drew hundreds from the legal and rugby worlds. One of life’s true characters.
  5. Wife of the Lions captain and mum to their two daughters Mali and Efa, Anwen, who is a doctor of physiology, is a Welsh-speaking physiology lecturer at Cardiff’s Metropolitan University.


#5. Chris Robshaw (England)

The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.

Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.

Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.

Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”