Ospreys boss Allen Clarke has used the aftermath of the club’s Saturday night European play-off win over rivals Scarlets as the platform to insist that Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones hasn’t played his last match for the region.
The centrally contracted second row has an existing deal taking him through with Wales and Ospreys until the end of this year’s World Cup.
However, rather than fret that Jones could potentially seek out fresh pastures – his 125 caps with Wales means he would be eligible to represent his country playing for a non-Welsh club – Clarke struck an upbeat note following Ospreys 21-10 win in Swansea which secured them Champions Cup qualification for next season, insisting he expects the situation surrounding his skipper to be favourably resolved in the next few weeks.
“That’s speculation that sells papers,” said Clarke to WalesOnline.com following the 33-year-old forward’s 238th game for the Ospreys. “The bottom line is that’s what it is, it’s speculation.
“It could always be somebody’s last game, whether through the unfortunate circumstances of an injury. You have got to live the moments. Nobody associated with the Ospreys is talking about Alun Wyn’s last game.
Alun Wyn Jones' Ospreys future latest as head coach insists no one is talking about Wales captain leavinghttps://t.co/nv3nHZ9muU
— WalesOnline Rugby (@WalesRugby) May 18, 2019
“We have got a job to do now. He is contracted until October. We want to – and I’m sure he does – get that business sorted in the next couple of weeks.
“When you look at what has been achieved at this region and the people who have been central in those achievements, Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric have been at the forefront of that. They are good men.”
Jones, who was included in the 42-strong Wales training squad announced by Warren Gatland for the World Cup, now has a four-week break before reporting for pre-season training that will include a stint in the Swiss Alps prior to two matches versus England.
That will be followed by a warm-weather stint in Turkey before two matches against Ireland rounds off preparations for the finals in Japan.
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