Legendary Welsh fly half Stephen Jones is to hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Jones is the most capped player of all time in Wales, and the second highest points scorer of all time for Wales. On and off the field he has been a major influence on a generation of Welsh players and a great role model. Jones will join Dai Young’s coaching team at London Wasps from next season, having decided that the time is right for him to retire from playing.
Jones will retire having achieved a huge amount in the game at club and international level and with a stellar career behind him. The 104-time capped Jones represented the Scarlets and Clermont Auvergne before joining London Wasps, and his impressive accolades also include six test matches for the British and Irish Lions as a double tourist in 2005 and 2009.
He has scored a total of 970 points in 110 Test matches (104 for Wales and 6 for the British and Irish Lions). He has scored seven tries, all for Wales; kicked 198 penalties (186 for Wales and 12 for the Lions); 160 conversions (153 for Wales and 7 for the Lions); and 7 drop goals (six for Wales and 1 for the Lions).
Jones has played an important role for London Wasps on and off the pitch this season and will continue to be a key figure for the rest of the season. His enthusiasm and positivity has been his trade mark in an incredible career, one of the greatest Number 10s of all time, and having made 11 appearances so far for Wasps this season, he has played a significant role in the Club’s recent upturn of fortunes.
Jones said: “I feel incredibly lucky to have played for some fantastic sides down through the years 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.”
London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “I always thought Stephen would make an excellent coach and everything I have seen of him this season backs that up. 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.”