Ex-Wales Skipper Ryan Jones hangs up his boots
The former Wales Captain Ryan Jones confirmed he would be retiring on Thursday with immediate effect following a severe shoulder injury.
The Bristol back-row forward, who won 75 caps for his country and won three Grand Slams, had been recovering but decided the time was right to wind-up his playing career.
The 34-year-old was also a major member of the British and Irish Lions squad in 2005, participating in all three tests during their tour of New Zealand.
“The old cliche of making the decision with a heavy heart is true on this occasion,” revealed Jones.
“The last few weeks have been emotionally tough for me. I’ve had to recognise, and come to terms with, the fact that while the mind is still very willing, the body is no longer able to do what I want it to on a rugby pitch.”
“After sustaining a shoulder injury in May and subsequently undergoing surgery to repair the damage, it became clear that I could no longer carry on, leaving me with little option other than to call time on what has been an incredible personal journey.
“Looking back on my career, I can say that I have enjoyed some fantastic highs and, although there were some well-documented lows along the way, the overriding feeling is one of immense pride and satisfaction.
“If someone had told me 20 years ago that I was going to achieve and experience a fraction of what I have, then I would have been over the moon.”
Jones nevertheless divulged rugby would “continue to be a big part of my life”. “For now, I look forward to enjoying the Rugby World Cup as a Welsh supporter, knowing from my own personal experiences in 2011 that it is the biggest spectacle in the sport.”
The former Ospreys Captain had one year left on his current deal with Championship side Britstol, having joined the determined club in 2014 following 14 years with Swansea based side.
The versatile back-row is one of only three Wales internationals of all time to have been part of three Grand Slam triumphs, having achieved it in 2005, 2008 and 2012.
In all, he led Wales on 33 occasions, which was a record until current Skipper Sam Warburton overtook him during the Six nations earlier this year. Nevertheless, Wales and rugby fans all around the world will appreciate Jones for his service to the game.
From RUCK.co.uk thanks for all the memory’s Ryan.