Alun Wyn Jones, the former Lions captain and world rugby’s record cap holder, has revealed the top three second-rowers he faced during his illustrious career. Among them is a legendary Irishman who earned a spot on his list.
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Just four months before the World Cup, the 37-year-old Jones decided to retire from international rugby, having played an impressive 170 Tests for Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
Interestingly, his retirement announcement coincided with 33-year-old Tipuric’s revelation of quitting international rugby.
Jones, who made his international debut in 2006 against Argentina, boasts an impressive record with 158 appearances for Wales and 12 Tests for the British and Irish Lions across four tours.
During his career, he led the Lions in the 2021 tour of South Africa and captained the team to victory in the 2013 Test decider against Australia in Sydney.
Having captained Wales 48 times, Jones played a key role in securing the 2019 Grand Slam and was named the Six Nations player of the tournament.
Beyond the international stage, Alun Wyn Jones enjoyed success with Ospreys, winning three league titles. Now, he is set to appear for the Barbarians, where he will face a World XV and his hometown club, Swansea, in an upcoming match later this month.
ALUN WYN JONES: TOUGHEST OPPONENT
#1. Paul O’Connell
Born October 20, 1979, Limerick
Major teams British and Irish Lions, Munster, Ireland
The Irish second row was certainly blessed with special rugby powers having been one of the world’s leading tight forwards for more than a decade. A three-times Lions who captained the tour of South Africa in 2009.
Alun Wyn Jones said: “We got to know each other very well as team-mates with the Lions and opponents for our clubs and countries. You cannot shy away from how effective the guy was in his position.”
Did you know? O’Connell initially excelled at swimming and only started playing rugby at the age of 16
Source: The Rugby Paper