Adam Jones a 'huge part in Wales' success,' says Warren Gatland

Adam Jones: 'I'm done and I'm happy'

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has joined the tributes to prop Adam Jones, who has retired from Test rugby.

Jones, who won 95 caps for Wales and five for the British and Irish Lions, made the decision after he was left out of Wales' Six Nations squad.

"There is no doubt that Adam has played a huge part in Wales' success," said Gatland.

"He has three Grand Slams and a [Six Nations] Championship to his name. That is an unbelievable record."

Gatland coached Jones, 33, for the 2008 and 2012 Grand Slams, as well as the 2013 Six Nations title.

Shane Williams tweet
Former Wales and Lions wing Shane Williams pays tribute to his former team-mate Adam Jones

But he left the Cardiff Blues prop out of the Six Nations squad, having omitted him for the 2014 autumn series as well.

Jones was also dropped from Wales' final 2014 Six Nations game against Scotland and his last appearance for Wales was the 38-16 defeat by South Africa in the first Test in June 2014 that year.

His Test future was cast in doubt after he was replaced by Samson Lee after just 30 minutes of that game.

When announcing Jones' omission from Wales' Six Nations squad, Gatland named Scarlets' nine-times capped Samson Lee, 22, as his top tight-head pick.

Gatland had placed Jones on standby for the Six Nations in case of injury, saying the door was open for him to force his way back into the squad for the World Cup.

Australia hooker and captain Stephen Moore pays tribute to Adam Jone
Australia hooker and captain Stephen Moore pays tribute to Adam Jones

But Jones has said he made up his mind before Christmas that if he was not chosen for the squad he would retire.

In a statement issued on his behalf, Jones said he had done all in his power to regain his Wales spot.

He added: "I feel like I am more than just injury cover, and have therefore decided to call it a day.

"It has been a tough week for me, but the support from the Welsh fans has been overwhelming, just as it has been ever since my first cap."

After Jones' announcement, the Welsh Rugby Union issued a statement in which Gatland said: "He made a big impact and contribution on the international stage and we all wish him well for his future career with the Cardiff Blues."

Former Wales wing Adrian Hadley believes Jones' decision is final.

"I am a bit surprised. He's been a tremendous servant to Welsh rugby, to the Ospreys and now to the Blues," said Hadley.

"If an injury did happen now and they did ask him to play, would he play?

Cardiff Blues tight-head prop Adam Jones just misses with a drop-goal attempt against Munster in the Pro 12

"I think he's made his mind up and I don't think he will change it."

Former Wales and Lions prop Graham Price, who won two Grand Slams, believes Jones was underappreciated at times during his glittering career.

"He achieved a lot, not just with Wales but with the Lions," said Price.

"Who could forget the last Lions tour when we demolished the Australians in the scrum? That was largely due to Adam's contribution.

"His talent and his ability was not fully appreciated until he was not there. Every time he was injured, we couldn't wait for him to get back in the side.

"He was such a fundamental part of those Grand Slams we won."

Sir Clive Woodward tweet
Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward was surprised at the timing of Adam Jones' retirement

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