Prop Adam Jones targeting 100 Wales caps before retirement

Adam Jones celebrating Wales securing the 2012 Triple Crown at Twickenham
Adam Jones celebrating Wales securing the 2012 Triple Crown at Twickenham

Wales prop Adam Jones has revealed he is targeting 100 caps before he retires from international rugby.

The 31-year-old Ospreys tight-head is currently on 80 international appearancesexternal-link ahead of Wales' three-Test tour of Australia.

Front-row colleague Gethin Jenkins is on 92 caps and is likely to beat Jones to three figures.

"One hundred [is the target]. I'd like to get there and that's my one target left I think," Jones said.

Flanker Martyn Williams retired on 100 caps following his appearance as a replacement in Wales' 30-21 win over the Barbarians last weekend.

Williams joined record Wales cap-holder Stephen Jones (104) and Gareth Thomas (100) in reaching the mark.

But when he reaches the 100 mark Jones, who also played two Tests for the Lions, says he will "hold the bat up".

Jones, who has been part of three Wales Grand Slam-winning sides, is already pin-pointing a ready-made replacement for him in the Wales number three jersey.

He believes Craig Mitchell, who left the Ospreys for Exeter at the end of the 2010-11 season to get more regular rugby, will be the man to take his place.

Mitchell is not going on Wales' tour of Australia because of injury with Jones the long-established tight-head in the Wales squad.

Scarlets 20-year-old Rhodri Jones continued his switch from loose to tight-head as he made his debut against the Barbarians.

Adam Jones' former Ospreys colleague, Bath-bound Paul James, is also a loose-head who has earned respect for his appearances on the other side of the scrum.

But Mitchell remains the man Adam Jones believes in for the future.

"I'm a big fan of Craig Mitchell. I was disappointed when he left here [the Ospreys]," said Adam Joens.

"He saw it as the time he had to leave.

"He's an excellent player and he's pushing me pretty hard and it's a case of keeping ahead of him.

"I'm a big fan of his and hopefully if I can get to 100 caps I'll pass the baton on to him and I'll be quite happy to do that."

Adam Jones also laments James' departure for the Recreation Ground and the Aviva Premiership.

"It's going to be strange [without him]. Me, him [James] and [Richard] Hibbard have become quite tight over the last three or four years and it will be a lot different him not being there," admitted Jones.

"He is a bit of an unsung hero. He plays very well every week. He is very destructive in what he does.

"He has come on and got 30-odd caps which is no more than he deserves because he has been an excellent professional for the last 10 years."

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