Wales prop Adam Jones retires from internationals
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Adam Jones, who propped 95 times for Wales and five tests for the British and Irish Lions, retired from international rugby on Saturday.
Jones was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying he decided late last year he would finish if he wasn’t picked by Wales for the upcoming Six Nations. He didn’t make the squad on Tuesday, though he was put on standby by coach Warren Gatland.
“It’s obviously not the way I would want to finish. It’s not how I planned it in my head, and I hope no one thinks I am simply quitting,” the 33-year-old Jones told the newspaper.
He said retiring crossed his mind when he was dropped for the last game of the 2014 Six Nations against Scotland, then was stunned to be replaced just 31 minutes into the first test against South Africa in June in Durban. That was his 100th test, and his last.
“I was gutted to miss out on the autumn,” he said. “I told myself then that I would train as hard as I can, and get as fit as I can. If it didn’t happen, then I’ll call it a day.”
Jones called Gatland “a massive influence” on his career, but believed he still had a role to play with Wales.
“Warren is the man who came in and saved me,” Jones said. “I’m very grateful. I don’t agree with him not picking me. But he’s got to pick who he thinks is best.”
Jones made his test debut against England in a warmup for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, his first of three World Cups. He featured in three Six Nations Grand Slams.
He toured with the Lions twice, to South Africa in 2009, and was the starting tighthead in all three tests of the 2011 series victory over Australia.
He will continue with the Cardiff Blues, whom he has helped to reach the European Challenge Cup quarterfinals.