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Williams surprised by Jones exit

Wales centre Scott Williams admits he was surprised by the international retirement of British and Irish Lions prop Adam Jones.

Jones announced his retirement from international rugby on Saturday night after winning 95 Wales caps and playing in five Tests for the Lions.

The 33-year-old Blues prop had been left out of Wales coach Warren Gatland's 34-man RBS 6 Nations training squad, which followed his omission from the autumn international series earlier this season.

But, as the Wales players assembled at their Vale of Glamorgan training base on Monday ahead of the Six Nations opener with England in Cardiff on February 6, Williams summed up the mood of shock in the Welsh camp at the international retirement of the veteran tight-head prop.

"I was a little bit surprised but Adam's been a world-class prop over the last couple of years," Williams said.

"He's done a lot for the country.

"It's obviously his personal decision but he's still got a lot left in his career."

Gatland opted for current number one Samson Lee, plus Aaron Jarvis and Scott Andrews as his tighthead prop options in the Six Nations, but did leave the door open for Jones last week by saying he would be in the frame if injuries struck.

But Jones said in a statement released by his agents Big Red Management: "I feel like I am more than just injury cover, and have therefore decided to call it a day."

However, Jones said he plans to continue playing regional rugby for another two to three years before moving into coaching.

Wales reported a clean bill of health after the final European fixtures last weekend and, unlike England, have had few injuries to contend with in their build-up to the Millennium Stadium clash between the countries on Friday week.

But Scarlets centre Williams insisted England would still "take some beating" despite Owen Farrell, Kyle Eastmond, Geoff Parling and Tom Wood joining an injury list which has already seen Ben Foden, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Morgan, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury and Ed Slater ruled out of the Cardiff opener for one reason or another.

"They've had a few injuries but they're still a world-class side and they're going to take some beating," Williams said.

"We've got to make sure we work hard in the next 11 days if we want a chance to win.

"But we've got a good group of boys here and we all work hard.

"It's going to be a tough week and we've already started with a little bit of conditioning, but there's not much time before the first game."


From Belfast Telegraph