(Reuters) – Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones was named Six Nations player of the championship on Friday after leading his country to a first Grand Slam since 2012.
Jones turned in a string of consistent performances as Wales powered past France, Italy, England and Scotland before beating title holders Ireland at the Principality Stadium last weekend.
The 33-year-old lock fended off competition from team mates Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams and Liam Williams and English duo Jonny May and Tom Curry, who were part of the six-man shortlist for the award.
“For me as the captain, it’s a validation of what we’ve done as a squad throughout the campaign,” Jones said in a statement.
“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 is the fifth Welshman to win the award, following in the footsteps of Leigh Halfpenny (2013), Dan Lydiate (2012), Shane Williams (2008) and Martyn Williams (2005).
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, Editing by Simon Jennings)