Rugby Union

Wales star Alun-Wyn Jones re-signs national dual contract

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Alun-Wyn Jones has pledged his rugby future to the Ospreys and Wales by re-signing his national dual contract.

The 30-year-old lock has won 94 caps and captained the 2013 British and Irish Lions in a series-clinching third Test against Australia.

Jones' fresh deal was announced by the Ospreys and Welsh Rugby Union, and comes just 19 days before Wales kick off their RBS 6 Nations campaign against Ireland in Dublin.

Jones was one of the most sought-after players in European rugby after carving out a reputation for consistent world-class performances, and he will be an integral part of Wales' bid to land a fourth Six Nations title of head coach Warren Gatland's reign this season.

Jones is in his 11th season with the Ospreys and has led them to the brink of a European Champions Cup quarter-final place this term.

"I am very happy to be in a position to sign an NDC to continue playing in Wales for the Ospreys," Jones said.

"I'm grateful to everybody involved for giving me the time to make the correct decision for myself, my family and my career.

"With my future now sorted, I can continue to represent the Ospreys, my home region, and put myself in contention for selection for Wales."

WRU group chief executive Martyn Phillips added: "Huge credit must go to the Ospreys for securing Alun-Wyn for the next chapter of his career with region.

"I am convinced that their strong purpose, vision and ambition for the region motivated Alun-Wyn to stay, rather than pursue other options that he may have had.

"In my mind, he is right up there as a leader, on and off the pitch, in the game globally, and it's a significant boost to us all in Welsh rugby to see his commitment to the game in this country."

A number of leading Wales players have national dual contracts, which are funded by the WRU and a player's region, with captain Sam Warburton, fly-half Dan Biggar and scrum-half Rhys Webb among those currently on the roster.

Reflecting on Jones' decision, Ospreys general manager Andrew Millward said: "This is excellent news for everybody involved with the Ospreys and Welsh rugby.

"As someone who has come through our system and takes immense pride in representing his home region and his country, he is a role model for those around him - a natural leader on and off the field.

"It is only natural that someone of his standing in the game would have had significant interest elsewhere, but by re-signing his NDC he has shown real belief in what we are trying to achieve here.

"Along with the news of Dan and Rhys committing their futures to an NDC recently, this is more good news for both region and country."

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