Alun Wyn Jones: Former Wales captain retires to standing ovation with Toulon

Alun Wyn Jones playing his last game on Welsh soil for the Barbarians against Wales earlier this month
Alun Wyn Jones played his last game on Welsh soil for the Barbarians against Wales earlier this month

Former Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones received a standing ovation as he ended a glittering 19-year career with a win for Toulon.

Jones, 38, was named captain by Toulon for the Top 14 fixture they won 30-27 at Clermont Auvergne.

He was applauded off by both teams after 66 minutes, only to reappear as a replacement for the final two minutes to help set up the winning try.

The ex-British & Irish Lions lock is the most capped player in history.

He won 158 Wales caps before retiring from international rugby in May and joining French side Toulon in July as injury cover for the World Cup.

"I never thought I would be here finishing my career," Jones said.

"I am just really grateful to Toulon for the welcome I have had.

"I have only been here four months and I appreciate I won't have the impact other foreign players have had here, but the welcome I have had from the fans, the city of Toulon, has been very special."

Clermont gave Jones a shirt before the game, with the lock being replaced midway through the second half to a standing ovation from the Stade Marcel-Michelin crowd.

Jones, who made a world record 170 international appearances including 12 Tests for the British and Irish Lions and played in four World Cups, left Ospreys in the summer of 2023 after 17 years at the Welsh region.

He captained the Barbarians against Wales in Cardiff earlier this month as he bid farewell to the Welsh rugby public.

Meanwhile, fly-half Dan Biggar, who has also retired from international rugby, was still missing from the Toulon team because of a back injury.