From Bonymaen to Lions captain and the hair cuts in between: How Alun Wyn Jones became one of the greatest of all time

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Credit: PA

Alun Wyn Jones' extraordinary career has already secured him a place among rugby's greatest players - and the British and Irish Lions captaincy provides a fresh pinnacle.

Jones will lead the Lions in South Africa this summer.

In doing so, he joins a very select group of people who have featured in four successive Lions tours.

You have to go all the way back to 2005 for a Lions test match which did not feature the the second row enforcer.

Alun Wyn Jones made his international debut in 2006 against Argentina. Credit: PA

His rugby journey began with Bonymaen RFC but he made his first international appearance 15 years ago, 7,500 miles away from home in Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

He played blindside flanker for Wales that day against the Pumas, but second-row became the position from which Jones went on to establish himself as an all-time Welsh rugby great.

At the age of 35, Jones has helped Wales to win five Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, and reaching two World Cup semi-finals.

He also holds the world record of 157 Test match appearances - including nine for the Lions across their last three tours - and is closing in on 250 games for the Swansea-based Ospreys.

Alun Wyn Jones celebrates winning the final Lions test against Australia in 2013. Credit: PA

Jones has captained the Lions before, skippering them to a third Test victory over Australia in Sydney eight years ago when tour leader Sam Warburton was injured, that clinched the series.

It means he will emulate fellow illustrious Welshmen like Warburton, John Dawes, Phil Bennett and David Watkins after Lions head coach Warren Gatland once again placed his trust in a player who did him proud during the New Zealander's 12-year stint as Wales boss.

Jones is famously a man of few words but his teammates are quick to heap praise on him.

Wales, Ospreys and Lions colleague Justin Tipuric describes him as "an absolute freak" and a "machine," while Wales head coach Wayne Pivac labels him as an "inspiration" and former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies calls Jones' career "extraordinary".

Credit: PA

Responding to his own unveiling as captain Jones described the "privilege" of wearing the armband and typically understated way he found out.

 "Obviously very proud, very privileged. To be selected in the squad is initially what you want to be hearing, and to have the armband as well is a privilege, with the names that have gone before and what those players have achieved."

"I had a call from Gats on Sunday evening, actually a missed call. Thought better give him a call back," He explained.

"We had a quick chat and I accepted obviously. I've just got a huge amount of pride to add this to the CV, but obviously there's a lot of work to do once we get out there."

Jones missed the call because he was at the dentist and he'll be hoping the Lions have sharp fangs when they take on the World Cup winning Springboks this summer.