Welsh rugby given a major boost as Alun Wyn Jones extends contract with the Ospreys

The lock guided the British and Irish Lions to victory on the third Test in Australia and has put pen to paper on a new contract until after the 2015 World Cup

Alun Wyn Jones has given Welsh rugby a huge boost by signing a new contract with the Ospreys.

Jones, a mainstay of the Wales team who captained the British and Irish Lions in their Test series-clinching victory over Australia in Sydney last summer, has agreed new terms until after the 2015 World Cup, the Ospreys announced.

Jones' decision comes against a backdrop of political unrest between Wales' four professional regions and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), and bucks the trend of top players moving abroad which continued on Thursday when full-back Leigh Halfpenny agreed a lucrative deal with reigning European champions Toulon.

Jones, 28, had been the subject of intense speculation that he would quit Welsh domestic rugby at the end of this season.

Several of his Wales colleagues, including Mike Phillips, Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate, already play in France, while Halfpenny, centre Jonathan Davies and lock Ian Evans will join the exodus later this year.

Jones, though, is staying put, with his decision announced just eight days before Wales kick off their RBS 6 Nations title defence against Italy in Cardiff.

The 74 times-capped forward is favourite to captain Wales in that game if squad skipper Sam Warburton does not return from a shoulder injury.

"I am very happy to be able to resolve my future, which means I can now concentrate solely on my rugby," Jones said.

"It's flattering to have received offers from elsewhere, but at this point in my career my focus is on being in the right environment to ensure the longevity of both my domestic and international career.

"It's important to me that I am playing the right level of rugby to ensure I am at my best, which is why it makes sense for me to accept the offer on the table from the Ospreys."

Jones made his Ospreys debut in 2005, he is their current captain and he was a key figure on the last two Lions tours, featuring in all six Test matches.

Ospreys operations manager Andy Lloyd added: "It will give everybody involved with the region - players, coaches, staff, commercial partners and supporters - a huge boost.

"Alun-Wyn has been, and continues to be, a fantastic servant to this region and is a true role model to those around him.

"A natural leader, he demands the highest standards of himself and everybody in this environment, and it will be a better place with him around in the coming seasons.

"Given the uncertainty that still surrounds the game in Wales in general, we've given Alun-Wyn reassurances regarding his future options, but it is fantastic news that he is staying at the Liberty Stadium."

 

PA

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing