‘He is a modern day hero,’ declares one great of another as Sir Gareth Edwards salutes today’s record-breaker Alun Wyn Jones, who will make his 149th appearance against Scotland.
‘He is a modern day hero,’ declares one great of another as Sir Gareth Edwards salutes Saturday’s totemic record-breaker Alun Wyn Jones.
The truth is the 35-year-old hates all this. He would rather we all forgot he was surpassing All Black legend Richie McCaw as the most capped rugby player of all time, by playing in his 149th international in Llanelli against Scotland in the Six Nations finale on Saturday, at least until he has actually done it.
On his strict instructions – and why would anyone argue – all the fanfare, presentations and garlands will be bestowed on the Wales captain after the match today, so desperate is he to avoid tempting fate, and more importantly losing a fifth Test in a row.
Alun Wyn Jones (above) is set to play in a record-breaking 149th international this weekend
Wales take on Scotland on Saturday which will make him the highest-appearing international
‘I’m slightly uncomfortable,’ the lock laughs when asked about the uneasiness of the limelight.
‘I don’t particularly like it. It does feel like a side-show to be honest. Any romantic can definitely wait.’
Jones has had to avoid all this a lot recently. Last year he became the most capped Welshman, beating Gethin Jenkins, and tallied the most games by any from his country against various opponents weekly.
Jones is set to overtake World Cup-winning New Zealand captain Richie McCaw (above) on 148
But today is the big one – after he which he stand alone atop rugby’s Mount Olympus. In 14 years the hair has thinned, brow furrowed further and his ears require significantly more tape, but his desire and bloody-minded will remains.
Sir Gareth – regarded as Wales’ best ever player – has seen hundreds play in red, but none quite like Alun Wyn.
‘You wonder how the hell he’s been able to do it!’ he exclusively tells Sportsmail. ‘Oh it’s incredible. A great credit to him for keeping the engine in tune.
The 35-year-old lock made his Wales international debut in 2006 and has changed since…
By Will Kelleher For Mailonline
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