NG Dragons hooker Jones forced to retire due to injury

Steve Jones

Dragons and Wales hooker Steve Jones has announced that he will retire from rugby following a hip injury.

Jones, 35, has played over 170 matches for the Men of Gwent and made his debut against the Ospreys in 2003.

He made his Wales debut against Japan in 2001 and won five caps for his country.

"I am devastated with the news and the fact that I will never put my boots on and run onto Rodney Parade with my team mates again," said Jones.

"I have been fortunate to play and work with some great players and coaches spanning 10 years since the inception of the Dragons, many of these players and coaches I am grateful to be able to call close friends."

Jones had been with the Dragons since the inception of regional rugby in 2003 and toured with Wales to Australia in 2007.

He has also represented Wales at students, Wales development XV and Wales A.

His last game for the Dragons was as a replacement against Treviso on 1st December, 2012 and has not played since.

"I would like to thank everyone at Rodney Parade, who have made my time such an enjoyable experience and helping me to further my rugby career," said Jones.

"I would also like to thank the fans for all of their support over the years, even though I come from the Ospreys region.

"I feel that a new chapter in my life awaits my family and I, and if the next 10 years are as good as the last you won't hear me complaining."

The Dragons have boosted their squad with four new signings for next season.

Italy's Australia-born fly-half Kris Burton, who has won 21 caps and featured in this season's Six Nations, will move to Rodney Parade from Italian Pro12 rivals Treviso.

The 32-year-old will be joined at Rodney Parade next season by lock Martin Muller, number eight Netani Talei and prop Francisco Chaparro.

Wales scrum-half Richie Rees has also recently joined from Edinburgh.