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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 5 December 2020

Triple Grand Slam winner Jones forced to retire with immediate effect

The 34-year-old back row has called time on his playing career.

FORMER WALES INTERNATIONAL Ryan Jones has been forced to announce his retirement from rugby with immediate effect.

Ryan Jones celebrates Jones celebrates a win over Ireland in the Six Nations. Source: James Crombie

The 34-year-old has failed to recover from a shoulder injury and has taken medical advice to hang up his boots.

Jones won Grand Slams with Wales in 2005, 2008 and 2012, captaining his country for the 2008 triumph. The back row, who could also operate at lock, won a total of 75 caps for his country as well as featuring on the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand.

Nominated for the IRB Player of the Year award in 2008, Jones spent the majority of his career with the Ospreys, before making the switch to English Championship outfit Bristol last year.

“This wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, but there comes a time when I have to accept that my body is not able to cope with the rigours of professional rugby anymore,” said Jones of his decision.

“I’m been incredibly fortunate to play the game I love for so long and have some amazing experiences and meet wonderful people. I’m so proud to be able to say I captained Wales and played for the British Lions – I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to in rugby.”

Denis Leamy and Ryan Jones Jones charges at the Ireland defence in 2008. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson paid tribute to the Welshman as he called time on his playing career:

What he has achieved at the very highest level for his country and the Lions is fantastic and underlines his qualities as a person and a player. He was a very tough opponent to coach against, and a great player to coach.

“Ryan’s time at Bristol Rugby has been hugely beneficial for the development of our team culture and game understanding. I would like to thank him for his contribution to the club.”

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Murray Kinsella

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