Welsh second-row Alun Wyn Jones has been unveiled as the 2019 Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship.
Jones captained his side to victory, beating out all opposition in this year’s Championship and securing Wales’s first Grand Slam since 2012.
Wales’s 2019 Guinness Six Nations commenced with a resolute comeback win versus France in the Championship opener in Paris before they continued with a series of dominant performances throughout the Championship.
Victories followed against Italy, England and Scotland, and finally against the title holders Ireland at Principality Stadium to cap off an impressive Grand Slam Championship.
Jones said: “I’m very flattered to be named the Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship. For me as the captain, it’s a validation of what we’ve done as a squad throughout the campaign.
“To be up there as a nominee with three other Welsh players and two outstanding players from England would have been more than enough and I’m very grateful to the people who have taken the time to vote.”
Jones becomes the fifth Welsh player to win the award following fellow forwards Martyn Williams and Dan Lydiate, plus wing Shane Williams and full-back Leigh Halfpenny.
He is also the fourth forward to win the award, following Williams, Lydiate and Ireland’s Paul O’Connell.
Ahead of going to a public vote, a shortlist of six potential players of the Championship, four Welsh and two English, were chosen by an expert panel of distinguished rugby writers and broadcasters from across the six participating countries:
- Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
- Hadleigh Parkes (Wales)
- Josh Adams (Wales)
- Liam Williams (Wales)
- Jonny May (England)
- Tom Curry (England)
To celebrate Guinness’ first year as Title Sponsor of the Guinness Six Nations, in a six-year deal, they have created a brand new bespoke Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship Trophy with one of Ireland’s leading bronze sculptors, Jarlath Daly.
He said: “This is a hugely proud moment for me. The Guinness brand evokes heritage, and it was an absolute honour to create this trophy that will be handed to the top performing rugby player in this year’s Guinness Six Nations tournament.”
Rory Sheridan, Head of Partnerships at Diageo added: “This year’s Guinness Six Nations Championship has provided fans with so many memories that will last them a lifetime. Through our activations, we have highlighted how rugby has the extraordinary capacity to unite both on and off the pitch.
“On behalf of the Guinness team, we would like to congratulate Alun Wyn Jones on being awarded the Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship and Wales on their Grand Slam victory.”