Alun Wyn Jones has described it as “an honor and a privilege” as he prepares to win his 150th cap in Wales and make rugby union history.
The 36-year-old returns to the Wales starting XI against Guinness Six Nations opponents Italy on Saturday.
It is his first appearance in more than four months after undergoing two surgeries after suffering a shoulder injury in Wales’ Autumn Nations Series loss to New Zealand.
Lock Jones’ latest milestone means he will become the first player in international rugby to make 150 caps for his country.
He broke former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw’s world record of 148 Test match appearances in October 2020, having played 140 Wales games and taking part in nine British and Irish Lions Tests at the time.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this delayed Six Nations appointment with Scotland was played behind closed doors at the Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.
But this weekend, more than 60,000 spectators are expected at Principality Stadium to celebrate one of Wales’ greatest rugby players of all time, who has made 150 for Wales and 162 Test matches after three other Lions games last summer.
“To be the first to do something is an honor and a privilege,” Jones said in a video interview released by Welsh Rugby Union.
“But I think doing it for Wales and wearing that shirt as often as I have is not a waste for me, especially when you realize what rugby means to the nation.
“There will be people who have played far more rugby games than I have for their local clubs across Wales.
“They have their place in their local history and I have people here who saw me coming on this team as a kid and now they’re going to see me take my kids for 150 appearances.
“Obviously, I’ve been fortunate to have hit quite a few milestones already — or at least that’s what people keep telling me.
“My first (test) was in Patagonia, 50th was in Twickenham and my 100th was in Eden Park, New Zealand.
“Of course my family couldn’t come when I set the world record in Parc y Scarlets in the Nations Cup. Having my family (on Saturday) and my wife and daughters there is huge for me.
“That’s the meaning of the milestone or whatever you want to call it, and the day. The weekend means nothing if we don’t win.”
As he did after a shoulder problem before the Lions tour to South Africa last summer, Jones’ recent comeback has come ahead of schedule after most forecasts indicated he would miss the entire Six Nations.
“We formulated a plan fairly quickly – within two weeks of the New Zealand game,” he added. “A few surgeries were necessary, not only because of injuries in the summer but also beyond.
“I was given a goal to work towards fairly early on and that was the plan that was pushed forward.
“I obviously come into the (Wales) camp after six or seven weeks and you can see the leadership group has been great.
“To be honest the guys were great as someone who was late. I think for the most part they’re happy to see me again – I hope so anyway!
“I’ve been away from camp for too long and without a jersey but to come back and see how hard the guys have been working has been really gratifying.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/alun-wyn-jones-wales-welsh-rugby-union-principality-stadium-six-nations-b2039224.html Alun Wyn Jones describes an “honor and privilege” as he prepares for his 150th cap