Famous Sports Stars in Pembrokeshire - Part 2

Bill Carne with Alun Wyn Jones


Wales’ rugby colossus came to Haverfordwest to sign his book


When Alun Wyn Jones captained Wales in last night’s international; a 32-9 defeat against Ireland at The Aviva Stadium in Dublin,  he reached an amazing 150 caps, having passed New Zealand’s former skipper Ritchie McCaw in his previous game, which was Wales' equally disappointing 14-10 loss to Scotland

Unfortunately he wasn’t able to celebrate that wonderful personal achievement against The Scots with victory and his post-match interview with an earnest lady showed a little of his prickly side as he made it very clear he was in no mood to talk about his personal milestones.

I suspect it would have been the same in Ireland because his thoughts of an amazing 150 caps would have diminished in defeat because that’s the sort of man Alun Wyn seems to be.

Nice to chat to Alun Wyn and Alun Wyn!

It reminded me of the occasion that Ben Stone and I encountered Alun Wyn in 2011 when he came to the Marley Davies’s Victoria Book Shop in Haverfordwest to sign copies of his book ‘Alun Wyn Jones’s World Cup Year’, which was published by Gomer Press and with all proceeds to go to the ‘Stepping Stones Appeal’ and Velindre Hospital. 

It was written by another Alun Wyn in former top rugby referee and now sports author Alan Wyn Bevan and the 6 feet 6 inches giant towered over me and made Ben look positively tiny!

He was out of action for rugby because he had a leg in a medical boot but was very pleasant until he realised we wanted an interview for radio and refused point blank, saying he had long since discovered that little good came out of such interviews because he had a poor view of journalists from previous experience!.

Refused at first but relented when he saw we posed no danger

He’s a big bloke sop there was no argument from us but Mr Bevan stepped in when he learned we were from a local radio station and gave us a smashing interview which I still have today – and I began to recover from the first top player I had met who simply did not want to know!

But  when the Welsh skipper saw that we were just a couple of country hacks just wanting to publicise his book for Marley Davies he relented and chatted to us, and gave us an interesting interview, which I was also listening to last night.

He even signed a book for me which the generous Mr Davies gave me as a prize for this lucky website.

Very eager to raise funds for such a good cause

Alun Wyn Jones told Ben and I that he was delighted to support such a worthy cause and Alun Wyn Bevan explained that both were eager to join Huw Evans, who is responsible for the magnificent pictures that feature throughout the book, in a special collaboration that means so much to all three. 

They were pleased by the response from the general public of Haverfordwest and hoped that many more books would be sold for the Cancer charities – and it was a terrific time for them in Bridge Street because the queues were long throughout.

It was a tribute to the fact that Alun Wyn Jones was hugely popular then and has grown in stature so much more since as he has proved almost indestructible over the intervening decade.

Amazing record of longevity

It is worth recording the fact that he is one of a small group of Welsh players to have won three Grand Slams including Gerald Davies, Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams, Ryan Jones, Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins and  was named as the best player of the 2019 Six Nations Championship.

He made his test debut for Wales in June 2006  and excelled in Wales' 2007 Six Nations campaign before he was a member of the Wales side that completed the Grand Slam in the 2008 Six Nations. 

Lions’ tests galore and win over the southern hemisphere ‘Super Three’!

In March 2009 Jones captained Wales against Italy in the Six Nations, becoming the 126th player to be captain of the country and was one of 13 Welsh players selected in the squad for the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa. He scored a try in his debut for the Lions against the Royal XV. He started the first test and came on as a replacement in the second and third tests. 

On 30 April 2013, Jones was selected for the Lions' tour to Australia. Due to Sam Warburton's tour-ending injury in the second test, Jones was selected as captain for the deciding third test in Sydney which the Lions won 41–16. 

Jones made his 100th appearance when Wales faced South Africa in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Rugby World Cup but Wales were knocked out of the competition with South Africa winning 23–19 and going on to win third place. 

Jones was named as captain for the Welsh squad for the 2017 Six Nations Tournament and following the campaign he was selected for his third British and Irish Lions tour, this time to New Zealand. where he became one of only seven Lions players to have beaten South Africa, Australia and New Zealand while touring these countries, following the 24–21 win in the second test. Jones started in all three tests of the series against the All Blacks. 

Reaching the absolute heights

In 2019 Jones captained Wales in their Grand Slam victory and was named Player of the Championship in a public vote and in a game against Australia at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, he became Wales' most-capped player, overtaking the record of 129 caps held by Gethin Jenkins. 

On 31 October 2020 Jones became the most capped international player of all time when he earned cap 149 against Scotland – and the way he is going could add a few more yet.

Alun Wyn Jones has shown amazing dedication, total commitment and strong leadership qualities with The Ospreys, Wales and The Lions – and both Ben Stone and I will long remember our special meeting with this colossus of rugby!