Alun Wyn Jones, rugby player

Alun Wyn Jones. Copyright: Huw Evans Picture Agency

The Ospreys and Wales international lock, Alun Wyn Jones, discusses the importance of focus and commitment.

Raise Your Game: How do you balance reading a difficult subject in university with the commitment you have to give to rugby training?

Alun Wyn Jones: I started really when I was in Wales Under 16s as a member of the ACE programme, which is the athlete career and education training programme. We used to do workshops on a Sunday where we would practise organisation and time planning skills. These were all key in becoming a professional rugby player.

I have used these and employed them for Under 18s, Under 19s and 21s. This has helped me with GCSEs, A-levels and now with my Law degree. It is all about time planning and a good line of communication with your learning establishment, in this case Swansea University.

RYG: How important is it to be focused and committed in training?


Alun Wyn Jones

19 September 1985


18st 8lbs

6' 5''



  • Wales
  • British and Irish Lions (2009)


AWJ: Training is a release from the stresses of exams and revising, but when I'm doing exams, it's nice to have something else like my rugby to focus on. It is a nice balance to have but I have to sometimes work harder and do extra training because exams will force me to have a day off.

It's just making sure when I'm training for the two hours or however long a session may run that I just have to be focused and make sure I have quality time.

RYG: What makes a good team player?

AWJ: Obviously the basics are that you need a good attitude, and must be hardworking. Honesty with yourself is important. When you're late for training you have to make sure you make up on what you miss. Organisation and time planning are also important so you're not late for sessions.

Respect for each other and respect for the people you play with and play against is paramount, because you can't under-estimate any opponent. Try not to play for yourself, rather play for the team. Pardon the cliche but there really is no "I" in team.

RYG: How did it feel to be representing your country?

AWJ: It's one of the highest achievements other than British Lions that you can achieve. It was a boyhood dream for me. It sounds a bit cheesy and corny but I think it's everyone's dream... to be given the red jersey and play for your country. Representing your family, friends and everyone back home is just a great feeling. You can't beat it!

RYG: Who inspired you? Who are your heroes?

AWJ: There are three that stand out. For inspiration, and just sheer desire, Lance Armstrong completing seven Tour de France, and winning after recovering from testicular cancer was amazing. Another great is Mohammad Ali, for being an outstanding athlete. Then within rugby, one of the guys who has achieved top honours and won the World Cup as Captain is Martin Johnson. If you were to look at his record sheet he has probably achieved everything that there is to do, so he has got to be up there.

Having not been successful in getting any recognition at any schoolboy or youth level, I just wanted to show people I could do it.

Jonathan Davies

Former Wales rugby league and rugby union player

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