Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Davies hails retiring Jones

Dafydd Jones

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies has hailed the "formidable" talent of Dafydd Jones after the former Wales flanker was forced to call time on his career having failed to recover from a serious shoulder injury.

The back-rower, whose career was hit by a string of injury problems, hurt his shoulder in Wales' 19-12 defeat to New Zealand in November 2009 and subsequently underwent two operations in an effort to return to action. But he has now decided to retire from rugby after consulting specialists.

Davies said: "He was a formidable player to have in your squad, a guy you can rely on. He's been a firm favourite among players and supporters alike for his brave, honest and down-to-earth attitude.''

He added: "Dafydd has been a trusted, committed and respected senior member of this Scarlets squad and a loyal servant to our team for over a decade.

"All his colleagues here are really disappointed to see such a great player and popular team-mate having to end his career early."

The 31-year-old won 42 caps, making his Test debut in 2002, and had 13 seasons with the Llanelli-based Scarlets.

He will continue his association with the Scarlets for the next six months, including assisting in the academy and community departments.

Jones, who scored two tries for his country, is currently in the middle of his testimonial season and admitted it had been a difficult decision to hang up his boots.

"This has been a really tough time for me and my family,'' he said. "It's a very hard decision to retire from rugby, which has been the sport and career I've known and loved since I was a teenager. All my efforts have gone into playing rugby for the Scarlets and for Wales, and I am very proud of and enjoyed everything I have done.

"It has taken a while to sink in that I'm not actually going to be playing any more, but the decision was really made for me as the medics said there was no way back from the damage caused by the injury.''

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