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Jones and Phillips awarded MBE’s

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones has been awarded an MBE

Jones and Phillips awarded MBE’s

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones and former Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips have both been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

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Both men have been awarded the honour for their services to rugby in Wales while Jones has also been praised for his charity work.

Jones, now 40, won three Grand Slams and four Six Nations titles in an international career that included 75 caps.

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Only Alun Wyn Jones and Sam Warburton have led Wales more often than Jones who captained his country on 33 occasions.

Jones also played three Tests for the British & Irish Lions on the 2005 tour of New Zealand.

He captained the Ospreys between 2007 and 2010, winning four PRO12 league titles and appearing 150 times for his region.

After retiring in 2015, Jones joined the WRU executive board moving from being director of community rugby to a performance role which he left in October 2020.

He now works for Sport Wales.

“I was overwhelmed and emotional and it has come out of the blue. It is a wonderful accolade and something I hold in such high esteem,” said Jones.

“My rugby career seems a long time ago. I am lucky with the generation I played in and there were far better players than me who have not quite had the success I was lucky to have.

“I would not have thought I would have achieved a fraction of what I did. I had a wonderful 20 years in the game and loved every bit of it and there have been some highs and lows.

“Standing there as captain lifting silverware in the Principality Stadium was just magic and I have vivid memories of how that made me feel.

“Getting called up to the Lions and playing in three Tests and sitting in the changing rooms and looking at some of the greatest players of a generation was also special.

“Something I have always been driven to do is inspire others and try to leave rugby in a better place and bring the sport to a broader audience.”

Martyn Philips

Former WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips

Jones has been a constant supporter of charities.

He has helped raise £1million to support underprivileged children.

More recently, Jones raised £100,000 for the National Health Service with a series of challenges that included completing a marathon in his garden in April 2020.

“To be recognised for things outside of rugby was particularly powerful for me,” added Jones.

“That is probably the significance of this award. People might know what I have done on the field but to be recognised for other things is probably the bit that carries more weight.

“Throughout my career I have always tried to support causes close to my heart.

“Rugby has given me everything I have got and trying to use that platform to help others is important.”

Jones worked alongside Phillips at the WRU. Phillips succeeded Roger Lewis as WRU chief executive in 2015 and left last year.

During his time in charge, Wales won the 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam, went 14 matches unbeaten, and briefly went to number one in the Test rankings.

They also reached the 2019 World Cup semi-final.

Phillips was also awarded an MBE for services to Sport and the community in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

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