Ospreys, Wales and British and Irish Lions prop Adam Jones launched his Testimonial Year at an exclusive event at the Swansea Marriott Hotel today.
The upcoming year is a new and exciting challenge and I'm sure it will remind me to be grateful for the tough times as well as the successes in my career
Jones' friends, family, team mates and representatives from local businesses turned up to show their support, as the first details of the Adam Jones Testimonial Year were unveiled.
Special guest speakers Welsh referee Nigel Owens, Wales' top try scorer Shane Williams and former international captains Alun Wyn Jones and Ryan Jones paid tribute to the Ospreys' stalwart, following 10 years at the region.
Supporters also met Chief Executive and Director of Nursing Emma Saysell from St David's Foundation, the Adam Jones Testimonial Year's nominated charity, which provides hospice care to over 2,000 people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in Wales.
The event kicked off an exciting year; announcing details of upcoming opportunities to honour an illustrious decade of rugby in the No 3 shirt, such as an exclusive Gala Dinner on Friday 10 February and a Ladies Night on Wednesday 21 March at Swansea's The Towers Hotel & Spa.
"I am so proud to be honoured a testimonial year for what has already been an unforgettable 10 years of rugby with the Ospreys region," said Jones, who has over 150 Ospreys' appearances under his belt.
"I've not only played fantastic club and regional rugby , I have been fortunate to represent my country on so many wonderful occasions as well as being part of the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2009 and these fond memories will stay with me forever.
"The upcoming year is a new and exciting challenge and I'm sure it will remind me to be grateful for the tough times as well as the successes in my career. So many people have offered me tremendous encouragement over the years and I hope that the events over the Testimonial Year pay tribute to the support I've received."
A percentage of the proceeds from The Adam Jones Testimonial Year will be donated to St David's Foundation. The charity supported Nicole Richards-Jones, Adam's wife, and her family when her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer in 2002.
He added: "St David's Foundation provided my wife's family with incredible support when they needed it most and it is with pleasure that I announce that the Adam Jones Testimonial Year will be raising money for the Foundation to support their excellent work with people with cancer and other life-threatening diseases in Wales."
One of the 'Ospreys' Originals', Adam joined the Ospreys from Neath RFC during regionalisation of Welsh rugby in 2003. He made his debut in their first competitive fixture, a 41-30 win over Ulster at the Gnoll, before going on to establish himself as a key player with both his home region and the national team.
Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, Andrew Hore was at the event to support the official testimonial year. He said: "Adam has been a wonderful servant to rugby in the region, from his days as a youngster at Neath RFC prior to the inception of the Ospreys in 2003, through to the present day. He is entitled to a Testimonial Year under the terms of his existing contract and we are delighted to be able to honour that commitment as recognition of his service."
On the international stage, Jones made his debut for Wales as a replacement against England during the 2003 Six Nations and was later that year selected to feature throughout Wales' 2003 Rugby World Cup tournament. Back home, he continued to hold down the starting spot and went on to achieve 'Grand Slams' with Wales in the 2005 and 2008 RBS 6 Nations championships.
The international tight-head played in his second Rugby World Cup in 2007 in France and a third in 2011 when Wales reached the Bronze Medal Final stage in New Zealand. One of the highlights of Adam's career saw him selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa under head coach Warren Gatland in 2009.
Further information can be found at the official website: www.adamjones3.com; on twitter: @adamjones3 and the official facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Adam-Jones-3/287025074671542
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.