Adam Jones: Wales and Lions prop to retire from rugby union

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Adam Jones shows his emotions over end of Wales career

Legendary Wales and British and Irish Lions tight-head prop Adam Jones is to retire at the end of 2017-18.

The 37-year-old revealed his decision on BBC Two Wales' Scrum V, signalling the end of an 18-year top-flight career that began with Welsh club Neath.

He won three Grand Slams during a 100-cap Test career.

Jones starred for Neath, then Ospreys, and played a season for Cardiff Blues before joining Harlequins in 2015.

Adam Jones
Adam Jones won the 2013 Six Nations title with Wales, as well as Grand Slams in 2005, 2008 and 2012

"It's been an amazing career, a fantastic 18 years," he told BBC Wales while Quins announced he will stay on as a scrum coach beyond the end of this season.

Abercrave-bred Jones' international career began for Wales against England at Twickenham in August 2003 and took in three World Cups and the 2009 and 2013 Lions tours.

His Test career officially ended in 2015 after he fell out of favour with Wales coach Warren Gatland.

Before the 2014-15 season began, Jones' 11-year stint at Ospreys concluded and he joined their Welsh rivals Cardiff Blues.

Since his 2015 move to Quins, Jones has added scrum coaching to his playing career.

Adam Jones (right) and Duncan Jones playing for Neath in May, 2003
Adam Jones (right) made his Neath debut against Cardiff in 2000

But that has meant he has not played a senior game for the Premiership club this season.

Jones added: "A lot of people probably thought I already was retired because I haven't been on the pitch this year, but I gave it another go this year in a player-coach role and have been lucky enough to have been given that shot by Harlequins.

"I haven't missed playing. It's not been like every weekend I've been itching to get on the field.

"At the moment I'm scrum coaching - that keeps you in the game.

"I'm very pleased with my knock. When I first played for Neath I never thought I'd do what I did or get as far as I did because I didn't come through the system at age-grade and all that.

"It's been an amazing career, a fantastic 18 years."

Scrum V presenter Ross Harries reflects on Jones' career

Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins
Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins played in Wales' front row in three Grand Slams

In the pantheon of Welsh rugby superstars, there resides a great many fleet-footed conjurors, and Willo-the Wisp type magicians.

It's the Bennys, the Barrys, and the Gareths that live on in the imagination of Welsh supporters.

Adam Jones could not be further in stature or deed from his illustrious predecessors.

His reputation was carved from the coal face of international rugby. Brute strength, explosive power, and a refusal to buckle were his trademarks.

He was the bulwark; the cornerstone. The rock that gave the backs the space and time to provide the thrills.

But once the dust settles on his 18-year career, his achievements will rank alongside them. Those 18 years have been eventful.

Adam Jones playing for Harlequins against Ospreys in November, 2016
Adam Jones has made 30 Harlequins appearances, but none in 2017-18

From the humiliation of being subbed off after 30 minutes by former Wales coach Steve Hansen, to the heartache of a World Cup semi-final defeat, to the elation of a Grand Slam. Or, more precisely, three of them.

It's that achievement that gains him admission to an elite group of internationals.

Only six Welshmen have experienced Grand Slam glory three times - Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies, JPR Williams, Ryan Jones, Gethin Jenkins, and Adam Jones.

And his name has been written into Lions folklore, once for "taming the beast" in 2009, when his entry to the fray against South Africa proved a thoroughly emasculating experience for Tendai Mtawarira.

And four years later, in Australia, when he helped the Lions to their first series victory in 17 years.

His heroics in 2009 against the Springboks established him as arguably the greatest tight-head of his generation.

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