Jones has signed with Toulon
Alun Wyn Jones has signed with French club Toulon which has ended speculation about his potential retirement from rugby.
The former Wales captain, 37, hung up his international boots in May despite being named in the Wales Rugby World Cup training squad. He then played some matches for the Barbarians and some fans wondered if those games would be his last.
But Toulon confirmed Jones’ signature on Friday as a “medical joker” for the Rugby World Cup. That means he will be cover for the duration of the 2023 tournament as the Top 14 competition begins in mid-August. Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is also at Toulon but unless Jones has his contract extended beyond the World Cup, the pair are unlikely to play together in the south of France.
Toulon director of rugby Pierre Mignoni said: “We are delighted and honoured to welcome a legendary player like Alun Wyn Jones to Toulon. His career demonstrates his immense talent.
“His experience, his mental and physical strength as well as his leadership will add to the locker room and to his team-mates.”
Alun Wyn Jones signs for Toulon
Jones, who has also played for Swansea, ended his 17-year stay at Ospreys in June where he won three league titles.
Read more: Alun Wyn Jones retires from Wales duty
The player, who represented the British and Irish Lions on four different tours, retired internationally alongside Justin Tipuric. While Rhys Webb also hung up his boots before the World Cup. Wales’ captain during the Six Nations, Ken Owens, is out of the World Cup running with a back injury but has not retired from the sport.
Wales coach Warren Gatland said of Jones, the most capped international rugby player of all time: “I would like to congratulate Al on a phenomenal international career. His leadership, dedication and determination are second to none, and he has been an incredibly special player for Wales over the past 17 years.
“Every single time he has taken to the training pitch or put on the red jersey in a Test match he has given his absolute all, setting standards and leading by example.
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.