The most-capped rugby player of all time makes shortlist of six
Wales’ Grand Slam skipper Alun Wyn Jones has been included in the shortlist of six contenders for the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
The most-capped Welsh rugby player of all-time, the Ospreys second row joins athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, cricketer Ben Stokes, Formula 1’s Lewis Hamilton and footballer Raheem Sterling as the nominees for this year’s title.
Only one rugby union player has won the title since athlete Chris Chattaway picked up the first title in 1954. That was Jonny Wilkinson after drop kicking England to World Cup glory in 2003.
Leigh Halfpenny finished as the runner-up to Andy Murray in 2013 following his heroics in steering the British & Irish Lions to a Test series win over Australia, while Barry John was third behind Princess Anne and George Best in 1971 after his stellar performances for the Lions in New Zealand.
There have been five Welsh winners in the past – 2018 Geraint Thomas, 2009 Ryan Giggs, 2007 Joe Calzaghe, 1960 David Broome, 1957 Dai Rees.
Voting will be open to the public during the Sports Personality programme on BBC One on Sunday, 15 December.
The 6 candidates are:
Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics)
First British woman to win a major global sprint title as she claimed world 200 metre gold in a new national record time of 21.88 seconds. She also picked up silver medals in the 100 metres and 4×100 relay.
Lewis Hamilton (Motor Racing)
The Formula 1 world champion for the sixth time, one behind Michael Schumacher’s record, the Mercedes driver has won half of this season’s races and his overall career tally of 83 grand prix victories is now just eight off Schumacher’s all-time record total.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Athletics)
Finally got the global outdoor gold she craved by winning the heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships. Set four personal bests as her points tally broke Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record.
Alun Wyn Jones (Rugby Union)
Captained Wales to the Grand Slam, the third in his record-breaking 134 cap Welsh career, and was named Six Nations player of the championship. Became his country’s most capped player at Rugby World Cup, and is second only to New Zealand’s Richie McCaw in international appearances.
Raheem Sterling (Football)
Won the domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup with Manchester City. The England star, named as Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, was also praised for his public stance against racism.
Ben Stokes (Cricket)
Helped England win the Cricket World Cup for first time with a dramatic super-over victory against New Zealand at Lord’s and made a remarkable unbeaten 135 in the one-wicket third Ashes Test triumph against Australia at Headingley.
The winner of one award has already been announced – boxer Caroline Dubois, 18, is the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. There will be seven other awards handed out on the night.