‘One of the greatest, and seemingly indestructible, players in history’ – A Daily Mail Book of the Year
‘A true warrior’ – Warren Gatland
Match day. Closing a hotel room door, down into the team room. Up into a hotel lobby full of supporters in red shirts, of cheers and applause and shouts of good luck.
This is how the story of Alun Wyn Jones’s journey begins, the story that every child who has dreamed of playing rugby for their country starts with – from the tightness in your stomach to the look on your teammates’ faces, the adrenaline starting to flow within.
Belonging is the story about how the boy from Mumbles became the most capped rugby union player of all time. It is the story of what it takes to become a man who is seen by many as one of the greatest ever Welsh players. What it takes to go from sitting cross-legged on the hall floor at school watching the 1997 Lions tour of South Africa, to being named the 2021 Lions captain.
But is it also about perthyn – belonging: playing for Wales, working his way through the age grades and club rugby and his regional side. How to earn the right to be there, and what it feels like to make the sacrifices along the way. Feeling the connection to players who have come before, and feeling the ties to the millions in front rooms and pubs across the country, coast to coast. Knowing that deep down you want to belong, as everyone does.
From playing on the rain-swept pitches of Swansea to making his test debut against Argentina in Patagonia in 2006; from touring with the Lions in 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2021 to dealing with loss and creating a family – Belonging is the autobiography of one of the most compelling figures in world rugby. Told with characteristic honesty, this is his unique personal story of what it takes and what it means to play for your country: what it means to belong.