Alun Wyn Jones: Welsh rugby legend reveals heart condition towards end of career | Rugby Union News

Alun Wyn Jones retired from rugby in November but he was diagnosed with atrial-fibrillation, a heart conditions, in the summer; Jones didn’t play in the Rugby World Cup after retiring from international competition in May

Last Updated: 21/12/23 11:26pm

Alun Wyn Jones revealed he was diagnosed with a heart condition towards the end of his rugby career.

Jones, who retired from international rugby in May, called time on his career in November after joining French side Toulon in the summer.

The 38-year-old made a record-breaking 158 appearances for Wales, the most caps any player has made for their country.

“I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. It was discovered when I underwent a full medical check, which included an ECG test, when I joined Toulon in July on a short-term contract as cover during the World Cup,” Jones told The Telegraph.

“The cardiac doctor picked it up straight away. My heartbeat was like a galloping horse with six legs. It was all over the shop.

“The things that bring it on for someone my age is likely to be cardiovascular exercise and stress, it occurs in sports like rowing and endurance sports, but it was a shock because throughout my career I have always prided myself on my fitness. I have always been so committed to doing extras after matches, constantly working on my fitness and recovery from injuries.”

Jones was the captain of the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021

Jones was the captain of the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021

Jones, who began his professional rugby career in 2004 with Swansea before spending 18 years at Ospreys, had surgery last month to correct the heart condition.

Despite knowing he had the condition, the Welshman continued to act on medical advice, discussed the situation with his family and played for Toulon from July to November.

He hopes more sportspeople have heart screenings, so they can discover any issues.

Jones is seen as one of Wales' greatest ever rugby players

Jones is seen as one of Wales’ greatest ever rugby players

“There is a lot of talk about welfare in rugby at the minute, but does that cover everything?” questioned Jones.

“Is it just things that we can afford? Surely the sport has come on to the point where players should be screened more often, especially at a time when the demands in the game are growing.

“I was very lucky how it worked out and will forever be grateful to Toulon for signing me. Had they not offered me a contract, I may never have known about the heart condition.”

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