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Alun Wayne Jones and Justin Tiburek both announced their retirement from Wales months before the World Cup

Alun Wayne Jones brought down the curtain on the best international run in Welsh rugby history on Friday, joining Justin Tiborich in crushing Warren Gatland at the World Cup.

Jones, 37, is the game’s most capped player having won 170 Test matches for Wales and the British and Irish Lions and will be remembered as one of the best players to ever don the red jersey of his country. Only the great Sir Gareth Edwards can rival Jones for Wales’ legendary status.

On a seismic afternoon, Lock Jones and Tipuric both confirmed their international retirements. This means that none of the players will travel to France to participate in the World Cup this year.

Both players were selected in Coach Gatland’s preliminary training party for the tournament at the start of the month but have now withdrawn.

“After being named to the preliminary squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup and following continued dialogue with the coaching staff and the WRU, I have decided to step away from the international game,” Jones said on social media.

Welsh veteran Alun Wyn Jones has announced his retirement from international football

Justin Tiboric also decided to walk away just four months before the World Cup

So, 17 years later, I remember the special memories with the Welsh greats and future Welsh greats.

My passion for rugby in my younger days was nurtured by my grandfather and father which continued throughout.

The opportunity to be a professional in the sport I love was a dream come true and to represent my home region, the Ospreys, and the clubs within the region, namely the Mumbles and especially the Bunnymen who guided me in my favorite years, was more than special and something I am so grateful for.

“Many thanks to the staff and players who have been part of my journey, I wish you all the best for the future.

To the fans, thank you for the support and making the most special of occasions unforgettable. To the people closest to me, my family, I couldn’t do it without you.

Through injury, loss, and success, you have always been there and will be there for whatever comes next.

“For all that I have accomplished, my greatest achievement will always be my children.”

Wayne Jones is the most capped player in the world for Wales, with 158 appearances

Wayne Jones is the most capped player in the world for Wales, with 158 appearances

“During the off-season, I had time to reflect on my football career and now seems the right time to step away from international rugby,” Tiburek said in a statement from Win Sports Management, the company representing him. Despite the fact that Tiboric is club captain at the Welsh Ospreys, his employers have been left scrambling to respond to the news of his retirement.

Tiburic would go on to play for the Swansea-based team, but he has now finished his international career with 93 caps. Like Jones, he will leave a huge void in Wales’ World Cup squad.

Wayne Jones has helped Wales win the Six Nations Championship on five separate occasions

Wayne Jones has helped Wales win the Six Nations Championship on five separate occasions

“It has been an honor to wear the Welsh shirt and to have so many wonderful memories,” Tiburek said in a simple statement that summed up his down-to-earth spirit.

“I would like to thank all the players and coaches I have been fortunate enough to work with over the years and the fantastic support I have received from the Welsh public.

“I am looking forward to spending more time at home and putting all of my energies into playing for my home region of the Ospreys.”

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