Full name Ryan Paul Jones
Born March 13, 1981, Newport
Current age 32 years 267 days
Major teams British and Irish Lions, Northampton Saints, Ospreys, Wales
Height 6 ft 5 in
Weight 242 lb
|British and Irish Lions||2005-2005||3||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0.00|
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2011-2011||4||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||0||50.00|
|Test debut||Wales v South Africa at Millennium Stadium, Nov 6, 2004 match details|
|Last Test||Wales v Tonga at Millennium Stadium, Nov 22, 2013 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
A versatile back row forward, equally adept at either on the blindside flank or at No.8, Jones made his international debut against South Africa in the 2004 Autumn Internationals. Earlier that year his club side, the Celtic Warriors, had been disbanded, leading to a contract with the Ospreys and in his first season at the region the club would win the Magners League title.
Jones played a significant role in the 2005 Welsh Grand Slam, scoring a memorable length of the field try against Scotland at Murrayfield and was a surprise omission from the original 2005 Lions squad to tour New Zealand. However, he earned a late call-up following an injury to Scottish back row Simon Taylor.
Following a strong showing in the Lions' 30-19 mid-week victory over Otago, Jones found his way onto the bench for the first Test. Following an early injury to blindside Richard Hill, Jones made his Lions debut and was sufficiently impressive to earn starts in the two remaining clashes with the All Blacks. Many would argue his gritty performances were some of the few positives to be gleaned from an otherwise forgettable tour.
Jones' ascent to the top was halted by a shoulder injury that would sideline him for the 2006 Six Nations, but he was able to resume international duty in Wales' autumn series draw with Australia.
Jones played every game of Wales' disappointing 2007 Six Nations before another shoulder injury ended his hopes of playing at the 2007 World Cup.
Having missed Wales' humiliating exit to Fiji, Jones was chosen by new coach Warren Gatland to lead the team for the 2008 Six Nations. The revitalised Welsh side secured a second Grand Slam in four years, with Jones' performances and leadership qualities signalling him as an early favourite to lead the Lions in South Africa in 2009.
The first hiccup for Jones as captain came on the recent Welsh tour of South Africa, where his depleted side were put to the sword by a ruthless Springbok attack. After a first Test drubbing, Jones and his side put in a far more determined and competitive performance in the second clash, encapsulating the best qualities of their captain.
But a disappointing 2009 Six Nations campaign and a drop in form saw Jones miss out on selection for the Lions tour to South Africa later that year. Instead he led Wales on a tour of North America but an injury to Irish flanker Stephen Ferris led to a call-up to the Lions mid-tour. However, his Lions tour was ended just a day after arriving in South Africa on medical grounds due to concerns about a concussion.
Jones retained the Wales captaincy for the 2010 Six Nations but injury saw the leadership duties pass to hooker Matthew Rees for the first autumn international of the year. Jones regained the honour for the clash with Fiji but a 16-16 draw and a crucial last-gasp error from Jones to hand the visitors a share of the spoils saw Gatland strip him of the captaincy for the showdown with the All Blacks.
Jones kept his place in the mix for the 2011 Six Nations and was named in the Wales squad for the 2011 World Cup. Faletau had established himself as the starting No.8 for Wales so Jones was left to vie for a spot on the bench or starting blindside.
And come the 2012 Six Nations, Jones started against Ireland in the opening match of the tournament and at lock against Scotland. Despite dropping to the bench for the remainder, he joined the pantheon of Welsh greats by winning a third Grand Slam. Victory over France in Cardiff ensured a place alongside Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies and JPR Williams as the players to achieve the feat.