Jones: I won't retire from Wales
November 26, 2011
Stephen Jones won the last of his 104 caps for Wales as a replacement against Australia in the World Cup third-place play-off © Getty Images
Stephen Jones will not retire from international rugby despite being snubbed for Wales' latest squad to play Australia next weekend.
The 33-year-old, who has dropped behind Rhys Priestland in the pecking at club and international level, was omitted from the squad to face the Wallabies at the Millennium stadium next Saturday.
However, the British and Irish Lion insists that he has no intention of retiring from international rugby and still hopes to add to his 104 caps for Wales.
"You knuckle down, work hard on your game and you enjoy your rugby and get on with things," he said. "I've got no decision to make. I am going to keep on playing, it is as simple as that.
"I have a good relationship with the coaches and all I can do is keep my head down, work hard and enjoy it. That's all I will do."
Jones, who made his Wales debut against South Africa in 1998, underlined his fitness and form as he scored 17 points in his 300th appearance for the Scarlets as they beat the Dragons 22-12 on Friday night.
Consequently, Wales skills coach and kicking specialist Neil Jenkins still believes that Jones could yet force his way back into the international set-up in time for the Six Nations.
"I am sure Stephen Jones still has a role with Wales," Jenkins said. "I am a big fan of his, and he has been outstanding for us. I believe he wants to carry on with Wales, and this is one game.
"I am sure he will be working hard with the Scarlets. I would be very surprised if he is too far away come the Six Nations."
Jenkins was also full of praise for winger Shane Williams, who will bring the curtain down on his illustrious Test career against the Wallabies next weekend.
"Shane is an amazing player, and his tries speak for themselves," Jenkins said of Wales' record try-scorer. "But he is an all-round player who can be quiet for most of a match and then pop up with the winning score in the final minutes through something incredible.
"You always worry if you can replace a player like that. He will be sadly missed and he is one of the best players Wales have had. It is an incredible story considering he was discarded at one point and brought back for the 2003 World Cup. I have nothing but praise for him."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter