Alun Wyn Jones opens-up on his emotions for the Lions as captain walks away insisting ‘it would be a travesty’ if rugby lost historic Tours
- Alun Wyn Jones played his final match for the Lions on the South Africa Tour
- The captain retires after four tours, 12 consecutive Test matches and one victory
- Lions life ended in disappointment for the Welshman with a 2-1 series defeat
- Wyn Jones opened up on what the Lions mean to him as he ends his career
Alun Wyn Jones waited until the final moments of his final act as a Lion to lay bare the full spectrum of emotions he felt at being part of this iconic team.
After four tours, 12 consecutive Test matches, one series win, two defeats and a draw his life as a Lion is over.
‘You’ll probably get me going,’ he said when asked what the Lions has meant to him after the Cape Town defeat.
Alun Wyn Jones has played his last game for the Lions, losing to South Africa 2-1 in the series
‘I’ve already had a bit of stick for being overly emotional but I don’t give a f*** if people think I’m over emotional, that’s what it means to me.
‘I apologise but sometimes it’s easier to use a bit of raw language.’
No one will begrudge Jones that reaction, having cemented his status as the greatest modern Lion on this tour by coming back from a dislocated shoulder to play all three Tests in South Africa within three weeks.
Fighting back tears, he firmly stated the case for these tours continuing.
‘It’s funny, being involved in 2009, I remember the furore after that,’ he added.
The 35-year-old has played in four Lions Tours and taken one victory in his impressive career
Wyn Jones went down fighting and urged future Lions to respect the opportunity of playing
‘The Lions is this, the Lions is that. Should it exist? In its most basic concept it is something that is very special and it ignites the imagination in children and adults and is something that rugby has hung its hat on for a long, long time.
‘If that were to go, it would be disappointment for the home nations, but also the SANZAR nations. It is a big element of rugby that gives a lot of people across the globe something to look forward to.
‘It is up there with all of those international competitions and rugby World Cups. It is very special and if rugby were to lose it, it would be a travesty.’
Falling three points short in the final Test was agony for captain Jones — but he wants it to fuel anyone who returns in 2025.
‘I’m never going to put this jersey on again,’ he concluded. ‘I made a point to the guys when we came together on the pitch that whoever is on the next one, make sure you go as hard as hell because it is a very special privilege to be involved in.’
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