Wales captain Jones brushes off record-breaking achievement

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Six Nations Championship - Wales v France
FILE PHOTO: Six Nations Championship - Wales v France

CARDIFF (Reuters) - Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones did not want to dwell on equalling the record for the most test appearances when he leads his country against France on Saturday, but reiterated his commitment to continue playing at the age of 35.

"I'm very fortunate again to put on the red of Wales but I'm probably past my days of looking back too far and (instead) I'm looking forward and that's what I'll focus on," he told reporters after the captain's run at the Stade de France on Friday.

Jones will play his 148th test, which includes nine for the British & Irish Lions, to move level with former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw. He will have the chance to take the record outright when Wales host Scotland in the Six Nations next weekend.

"I'm more excited about Zammo (Louis Rees-Zammit) and Sam Parry coming off the bench for their first caps. That's a massive thing for them and I think to be involved when a player starts on his journey at international level and for Wales is very special," he added.

Jones said he still had the same hunger and desire to play at international level as he did when he won his first cap against Argentina 14 years ago.

"Very much so. I think it's very easy to say no, I'm getting tired, be profound and all that but for me I've less years ahead than I have behind and that's why I still have the hunger," he said.

"It means more than ever and will continue to do so."

Saturday's test in France serves as a warm-up before Wales compete their Six Nations programme against Scotland at Llanelli on Oct. 31. The tournament had been halted in March by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wales will then compete next month in the hastily arranged Autumn Nations Cup where they face Ireland, Georgia and England.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)