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We reveal the Welsh rugby players with the most caps for their home country.
For many professional rugby players, there’s no greater achievement than being selected to represent your country in a World Cup tournament. Being named as one of their country’s top players gives them ample opportunity to lead their team to victory and become a rugby icon.
Over the years, the Wales national rugby team has been made up of some of the greatest talent in international rugby. But which players have performed in Wales’ famous red jersey a record number of times?
We unveil the top 5 professional and ex-professional rugby players with the most caps for Wales.
Legendary prop star Gethin Jenkins tops the charts of Wales’ most-capped players, following his retirement from rugby in 2018. The former Welsh rugby union player won a whopping 129 international caps, and gained 5 for the British & Irish Lions.
Not only is Jenkins the fifth most-capped player in rugby union history, he’s played four Six Nations titles including three Grand Slams, is a Heineken Cup winner, and won two Challenge Cup victories. He’s certainly come along way since his rugby union debut for Beddau RFC aged 13.
Alun Wyn Jones
Current captain of the Wales national team, Alun Wyn Jones holds the record for the most-capped lock forward in Test rugby history, with an impressive 125 caps for Wales. He’s also won 9 caps for the British & Irish Lions and has three Grand Slams wins under his belt.
Jones was crowned best player of the 2019 Six Nations, undoubtedly for his formidable captaincy. The world-class lock forward powered through the tournament despite injury, leading Wales to their 27th Six Nations win.
Ex-Welsh rugby union player Stephen Jones was the previous record cap holder, until Gethin Jenkins raced ahead of his 104 caps in 2014. Despite losing this feat, Jones remains Wales’most-capped back.
Other achievements Jones has stamped on his CV include, being the sixth leading rugby union test point scorer, and the second-highest Wales player on that list. Jones retired from professional rugby at the end of the 2012-13 season, taking up coaching position sat London Wasps and Scarlets.
Welsh rugby union and league legend, Gareth Thomas is Wales’ fourth most-capped player, after Stephen Jones overtook his 100 cap win in 2011. Thomas is ranked 13th among international try scorers, and is the second-highest Wales try scorer. The former professional rugby player was chosen for the 2005 British & Irish Lions tour and stepped up as captain following Brian O’Driscoll’s injury.
This enabled Thomas to become the ninth Welsh skipper in Lions’ history. Thomas was also named captain for Wales’ final match in the 2007 Six Nations against England, standing in for Stephen Jones who was suffering from a broken wrist. It was in this match that Thomas equalled Gareth Llewellyn’s Wales record 92 caps.
In this tournament, Thomas played his 100th cap and final test match, in which Wales’ defeated Fiji.