Alun Wyn Jones’ request for family to attend his record-breaking 149th Wales match during lockdown is rejected by the Welsh government
- Wales face Scotland behind closed doors at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday
- Wales skipper Jones will make his 149th appearance in Six Nations clash
- He will become most-capped international player of all time in an empty stadium
Wales’ ‘modern day hero’ Alun Wyn Jones has been denied the chance to celebrate his world record with his family due to lockdown rules.
Running out in his 149th international on Saturday against Scotland in the Six Nations Jones surpasses All Black Richie McCaw.
Jones requested that mother Ann, wife Anwen, and daughters Mali and Efa were able to attend but the Welsh government have ruled they are not allowed into Parc y Scarlets.
Alun Wyn Jones will become most-capped international player of all time in an empty stadium
‘Had it been different, a normal occasion, we would have cracked on and nothing would have been said,’ said Jones.
‘Permission was asked from the government for an exceptional circumstances, but in the grand scheme, one day in a lifetime is nothing considering we are in a hard lockdown and large parts of Wales were in local lockdowns before that.’
While a shame he understands as the country is in lockdown, but is not dealing well with the limelight this record brings.
‘I’m slightly uncomfortable,’ the lock laughed when asked about the uneasiness of the limelight.
Wales skipper Jones will make his 149th appearance against Scotland in the Six Nations
‘I don’t particularly like it. It does feel like a side-show to be honest.
‘Any romantic can definitely wait.’
Sir Gareth Edwards, regarded as Wales’ finest player, saluted a fellow legend.
‘He’s a modern day hero,’ the great No 9 from the 1970s exclusively told Sportsmail.
‘It’s incredible. A great credit to him for keeping the engine in tune. We found it tough playing five games in a couple of months – how these guys get through it I don’t know!
‘He has been a great motivator and an outstanding envoy for Welsh rugby.
‘He reminds me very much of Willie John McBride – that no-nonsense style.’
Wales coach Wayne Pivac has backed Jones to play in a fifth World Cup at the age of 38
Lions boss Warren Gatland – who coached Jones for 11 years with Wales – may yet pick him for a fourth tour next summer.
‘It’s important he has a good Six Nations – he’ll know that – but if he does end up in South Africa it would be an incredible feat,’ said the New Zealander
And Pivac has backed him to make a fifth World Cup, aged 38.
‘Alun Wyn could be one where you throw away the birth certificate and you just look at what he’s doing on a daily basis,’ said the Wales boss.
‘At the moment, he’s first on the team-sheet.’
Before his debut Jones noted it was ‘sink or swim time’.
‘I think I’m still treading water if I’m honest,’ he said when reminded of that comment.
‘I’ll continue to do so for a while.’
Whatever he has been doing a nation and his family will stand by its sofas today to hail their hero.