Adam Jones: What next after prop retires from Wales duty?

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Adam Jones
Adam Jones scored two tries during his 95 appearances for Wales

A human boulder of a prop who won 95 caps for Wales and played five Tests for the British and Irish Lions, Adam Jones leaves a huge void after announcing his international retirement.

For Wales, it marks the end of an era, the departure of a man who won three Grand Slams and a Six Nations title in the red shirt.

And for Jones himself, it leaves one question looming large: What next?

His retirement prompted a flurry of effusive tributes, befitting the cult following the hirsute prop garnered during his decade at the highest level.

And although his days in a Wales shirt are gone, Jones has no intention of retiring from all forms of rugby yet.

"I think I've still got two or three years left in me," he says.

"I would love to stay at the Blues. I still think I've got a lot to offer."

Adam Jones (left) with Alun Wyn Jones (right)
Adam Jones (left) with Alun Wyn Jones (right), known as 'Uncle Alun' to Adam Jones' daughter Isla

Jones joined Cardiff Blues at the beginning of the season, ideal for his family home near Merthyr Tydfil.

"It's perfect, not so much now that I can't drive," Jones says with a playful chuckle, referring to his recent driving ban.

"Luckily I've got a pretty good support network. Kristian Dacey lives on the street behind, so he said he's going to drop me off at training when he's with Wales. I won't be bitter about that!"

Jones' current contract expires at the end of the season, and he is hopeful of playing beyond then.

Adam Jones factfile
Born: 8 March 1981 in Abercrave in the Swansea Valley.
Club rugby: Neath (1998-2003); Ospreys (2003-14); Cardiff Blues (2014-). Won Celtic League 2004-05, 2006-07, 2009-10, 2011-12.
Wales: Debut v England in 2003. Won 95 caps. Grand Slams in 2005, 2008 and 2012, Six Nations title in 2013.
Lions: Toured in 2009 and 2013, winning five caps.

Once he does hang up his boots for good, the former Ospreys player wants to become a coach.

"I'm looking to get involved, get everything done badges-wise," he adds.

"I hope to start helping with the Blues academy and learn off people.

"I'm not blessed with the intelligence to go into banking or anything like that, so I'd like to keep the tracksuit on."

Jones lists his former Ospreys coaches Sean Holley, Jonathan Humphreys and Lyn Jones among those he has sought for advice.

The 33-year-old also plans to consult his former Ospreys team-mate Steve Tandy, just two years older and the current head coach at Liberty Stadium.

Jones will hope his transition from playing to coaching is as smooth as Tandy's, as he aims to replace the high of international rugby.

Adam Jones (left), Gethin Jenkins (centre) and Ryan Jones (right)
Adam Jones (left), Gethin Jenkins (centre) and Ryan Jones (right) celebrate their third Grand Slam with Wales in 2012

"I love playing for Wales," Jones says.

"I won't regret it, I'm totally at peace with my decision."

The adjustment for Jones may be straightforward, but it seems he still has some explaining to do for three-year-old daughter Isla.

"She's kind of twigged that Daddy doesn't play in red anymore, and that Daddy doesn't play with Uncle Alun [Wyn Jones] anymore," he says.

It is not just Isla who has much to ponder - a Wales team without Jones will take some getting used to for rugby fans across the world.

Jones says his decision is final but, if Wales were to face an injury crisis at the World Cup, would he reconsider?

"If there was no other tight-head in Wales, I would have to," he says.

"But it's a no. I'm done, I'm happy."

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