Duncan set for 150th Ospreys appearance

Duncan Jones will become just the fifth player to reach 150 Ospreys caps when he runs out against Connacht at the Sportsground in Galway on Saturday evening.

The loosehead will follow in the footsteps of teammates Paul James, Jonathan Thomas, Sonny Parker and Andrew Bishop.

33-year old Jones has been with the Ospreys since the inception of regional rugby, with his debut coming in January 2004 in a Heineken Cup defeat away to Toulouse. His 100th appearance was in a 24-23 win over Harlequins at the Liberty Stadium in October 2008.

“It’s something to be proud of, definitely. Any landmark like these creeps up on you I think. When you play, you’re not thinking about total number of appearances, you’re just trying to make the most of your time in the jersey.

“Certainly though, when it’s brought to your attention, you realise that it’s a great honour to have been selected to play that many times for your home region, a team where there is such competition for places. Yes, I’m really pleased to have been able to play so many times for the region.”

Ospreys Forwards Coach, Jonathan Humphreys, paid tribute to Duncan on reaching the 150 appearance landmark:

“Duncan is one of the true leaders at the Ospreys. He is one of the most competitive individuals that I think I’ve ever met. For someone who has endured two seasons of injuries, it’s great to see him without a doubt back to his very best.

“He’s a model professional and a true Ospreylian, who deserves congratulations for his durability and consistency that has enabled him to reach 150 caps for the region.”

Jones’ recent form saw him take the OSC/Worthington’s Player of the Month award for last month, the second time during 2011 that he has received the honour, and he says that he’s enjoying his rugby:

“It’s been a good couple of months. Obviously, with the World Cup going on we lost props so it’s been good to get a run of games. We’ve got a good group of boys here who’ve pulled together well and we’ve managed to get the wins in the PRO12. It’s maybe not been great performances but certainly if you’d been asked at the start of the year would you take just the one loss from eight games you’d have taken it.

“But yes, I’m still enjoying it as much as I ever have and that’s the most important thing.”

Ospreys Managing Director, Mike Cuddy, added:

“Having originally signed Duncan for Neath many years ago, I’m delighted to see what a great servant to the region he’s proven to be. He has stayed loyal to the region, because he’s always wanted to remain an Osprey and he takes pride in representing the Ospreylian cause. Anyone who makes 150 appearances for the region deserves the recognition and support of all fans in the region.”