AFTER being a firm fixture in the Newport Gwent Dragons second row for the past seven seasons Adam Jones believes the region's future in the boilerhouse is in good hands.
The 34-year-old has been forced to retire because of a foot injury sustained in training last January.
Jones, who was capped twice in the 2006 Six Nations currently has his right peg in a plaster after going under the knife to have a plate inserted.
When doctors told him that he would have suffered repeats of the stress fracture his choice was made and from now on he will reluctantly be watching from the sidelines.
"It's my sixth or seventh operation and I think that it was just my body's way of saying enough is enough," said Jones, who made 127 appearance for the Rodney Parade region after signing from the Scarlets in 2007.
"It's a shame to have to retire through injury but the game has got more and more physical so I have been very lucky to be in it for so long."
This season Jones played his part in helping with the development of his successors and he has been impressed by what he has seen from young locks Matthew Screech, Cory Hill and Joe Davies.
"They have got great futures ahead of them and will get the chance to develop quickly over the next few seasons," said Jones.
"They aren't the finished articles by a long way but will keep getting the chances to learn and get better under Lyn Jones.
"Without wanting to blow smoke up Lyn's backside, he has so much success on his CV but also recognises the importance of bringing through Welsh talent.
"I've worked with some great coaches at the Dragons – Paul Turner, Leigh Jones, Darren Edwards, Danny Wilson, Rob Appleyard – but I was thankful to have a season under Lyn.
"He gets his players thinking for themselves rather than being spoon-fed and that can only make them better."
Jones may have hung up the boots but fitness will remain a big part of his life through Revolution Runs, a burgeoning business that will be holding obstacle course runs.
Lyn Jones has already said that the Dragons will take part in his November event in Pentyrch but the ex-lock has stressed that it won't just be for the super-fit.
He said: "I was lucky enough to be involved in professional sport and I'd love more people to enjoy that feeling of competition and excitement, but also fun.
"We're going to be putting on events that are for people of all ages and all abilities – they can expect to get dirty, they can expect to get wet but can also expect to have a real sense of achievement."
For more information go to revolutionruns.co.uk