Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Jones to call time on playing career

Stephen Jones will take up a coaching role with current club Wasps

Stephen Jones, Wales' most capped international player, is to retire from rugby at the end of this season.

Jones, 35, will join the coaching staff at his current club Wasps. The former Scarlets and Clermont Auvergne fly-half has scored more points for Wales than anyone apart from Neil Jenkins. In addition to winning 104 Wales caps, he also made six Test match appearances for the British and Irish Lions, touring New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa four years later.

"I feel incredibly lucky to have played for some fantastic sides down through the years," Jones said.

"And I feel the time is right for me now to make the transition into coaching, which is what I have always wanted to do. There is an opportunity for me to do that at London Wasps, and I am very excited about the next step of my career.

"I want to say a huge thanks to everyone at the Scarlets, Clermont Auvergne and London Wasps, and I feel grateful to have worn three fantastic professional club shirts in my career.

"I also feel honoured to have pulled on the Wales and British and Irish Lions shirts, and I appreciate everyone involved in those sides, as well as the supporters, who have been there and backed me throughout my playing days. I am taking with me some incredible memories and experiences."

Wasps rugby director David Young, meanwhile, has no doubt Jones will make a success of his new role with the club.

"I always thought Stephen would make an excellent coach, and everything I have seen of him this season backs that up," Young said.

"It is sad to see him retire, but what we are losing on the field we are gaining off it.

"I have always admired Stephen's tactical nous, and I think he will be an excellent member of our coaching team. In the meantime, we have some massive games coming up and Stephen is going to play a big part as a player in the coming months."

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