Alun Wyn Jones May Have Played His Last European Tie For The Ospreys

Harry Corish - Sportin Journalist

Welsh interest in European rugby’s top tournament was wiped out at the weekend, but that’s not the only road that could have reached its end.

Alun Wyn Jones may have played his last European tie for the Ospreys after they lost their Heineken Champions Cup last 16 tie away to Saracens on Sunday, going down 35-20.

The 37-year-old former Wales captain has issued no statements yet on his future, but it has been suggested in some circles that his time as an elite player will come to a close after the World Cup in France in September.

When it was put to Ospreys head coach Toby Booth that the legendary forward had played his last match in front of fans in Swansea, he said: “If that ends up being his last game, he certainly has signed off at the Stadium in style because he was outstanding,”

That would mean the great man has now played his last home game before Ospreys fans as well as his final European match after the Ospreys succumbed to Sarries.

Jones and his team were level at 20-20 but a risky line-out by Rhys Webb cost the Ospreys a try and from that point on they were heading for the exit.

The undoubted winners from the weekend were Wales in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, as well as the Scarlets and Cardiff in the second tier European tournament, the Challenge Cup.

Sisilia Tuipulotu is fast becoming one of the stars of the sport in Wales and she underlined her huge talent again with two tries and a second successive player of the match award in the 34-22 victory against Scotland in Edinburgh.

The teenager helped Wales make it two wins from their opening two games, with fellow prop Gwenllian Pyrs also crossing twice.

Tuipulotu – cousin of Wales men’s star Taulupe Faletau – is making rapid strides at the age of 19 and Wales coach Ioan Cunningham said: “She’s been awesome in the first two games and given us front-foot ball and an opportunity to go forward and play through teams.”

Also playing through the opposition were the Scarlets who are into the last eight of the Challenge Cup after a 19-7 win at home against French club, Brive.

Vaea Fifita scored a brilliant individual try as the Scarlets booked a home tie against another French club, Clermont Auvergne this weekend.

Cardiff are also into the last eight after an emotional night when they not only came from behind to beat Sale Sharks, 28-27, but also paid heartfelt tributes to their former chairman, Peter Thomas.

The club also announced they have renamed their main stand, The Peter Thomas stand, in honour of their renowned benefactor, who died last week at the age of 79.

There were rousing acknowledgements to the influence of Thomas on the Arms Park pitch prior to the match, before Wales wing Josh Adams ran in two tries to cap a memorable evening.

Far more forgettable was the 73-33 defeat suffered by the Dragons against Glasgow in their round of 16 match as the Scottish side ran in 11 tries, including a record five for hooker Johnny Matthews.

Pontypool rolled back the years as they booked a return to the Principality Stadium 40 years on from their first WRU Challenge Cup win.

Pooler beat Neath 26-9 in the WRU Championship Cup semi-final and will face Ystrad Rhondda in the final.

Also celebrating at the weekend were Pontyclun Falcons, who won a major Cup final at the 13th attempt, after overcoming Llandaf North in the WRU Women’s National Cup final at the Principality Stadium.