Ospreys baton passes to Alun-Wyn
August 23, 2010
Alun-Wyn Jones has been named as Ospreys captain © Getty Images
The Ospreys have ended speculation over the identity of their captain by unveiling Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones as the successor to Ryan Jones.
The 24-year-old steps up to the plate as Jones prepares for a taxing shift leading Wales in a Rugby World Cup season. The No.8 has led the Ospreys since 2007 but had also been candid about the possibility of relinquishing the regional captaincy in order to focus on his international obligations.
New skipper Jones has won 40 Wales caps since making his debut in 2006, also playing three Tests for the British & Irish Lions in 2009. In 2008 he took charge of Wales for the first time, against Italy in Rome.
"I've captained my country once and I had a 20 minute stint with the Lions, and it's fair to say that I didn't really expect those honours so early in my career, and that's the case here as well if I'm totally honest," he said.
"I always watched Swansea growing up, I always aspired to play for the club and then, when rugby went regional, to play for the Ospreys. To be appointed captain is one of the memorable moments in your career, it's a fantastic honour. It's probably my biggest challenge to date, looking forward there's a lot in my career that I want to achieve. Being captain of the regional side, and representing not just Swansea like I aspired to but also, the other famous clubs that make up the region, it's a big responsibility."
His predecessor has promised to throw his full support behind the young skipper, who will also be able to call on advice from experienced campaigners such as Shane Williams, Adam Jones and former All Blacks Marty Holah and Jerry Collins.
"I've always said that captaincy is a seat that you are keeping warm for someone else," Jones said. "I've done it to the best of my ability at all times, we've had highs and lows, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I think that Alun-Wyn is a fantastic person and will make a great captain.
"He's only 24 so I can see him doing the job here for a long, long time, and he knows full well that he will have my full backing. It's important also that I thank the players, supporters, staff and my family for the support they've given me while I've been captain.
"It's the start of a very big season for us all. This allows me to focus on my game, and to give me the best possible opportunity of going to New Zealand for the World Cup next year as captain of Wales."