Alun-Wyn Jones: A Freeman of Swansea

Captain.

It’s been a great year for Wales captain Alun-Wyn Jones and plenty of Welsh supporters shall be hoping that this fine form will continue through the upcoming World Cup.

But Jones has already been racking up some silverware with Wales completing a Grand Slam in the Six Nations this year; the team is driven forward by the passion and commitment of Alun-Wyn Jones. With defensive displays that could rival any and performances so committed and trustworthy, it is no surprise to see the man leading this team being honoured by his home town, Swansea.

What is a Freeman?

If you’re familiar with the United States of America, there is an honour that is seemingly tossed around at will whereby a particular person will be presented with “The Key to the City”. This is a virtually identical honour to being offered “Freedom of a City” with no physical benefits or additional perks being added alongside this title. It is a title that is reserved for either a highly valued and exceptional member of the city or, in some certain cases, bestowed upon a visiting celebrity or other well-known figures.

For his undeniably immense performances that he has put in while wearing the red of Wales and the black of Swansea, Jones has been awarded the Freedom of Swansea, the highest honour that can be obtained in the city. With an utterly large set of performances in the six nations that earned him the Man of the Series award, having led Wales to their fourth Six Nations Grand Slam, it is no surprise that the city of Swansea wanted to immortalise one of their greatest, most loyal and nationally-loved citizens.

Followed Without Question

While most men seem to inevitably find a wall through which they cannot push through, Alun-Wyn proved time and time again this season that he experiences no such thing. Less than ten minutes into Wales’ titanic Grand Slam deciding clash against Ireland, Alun-Wyn Jones suffered an injury to his elbow which turned out to be season-ending. However, he played on and topped nearly every single statistic there was. All of Wales will root for him to be fit for World Cup, one that Wales will be eyeing. When talking of sports comeback stories, this would surely be the greatest.

But this is far from a unique story. Alun-Wyn Jones has proven himself time and time again to be an incredible leader with an undying passion and love for both his country and club. The man who sets the standards so incredibly high within the Wales camp, driving everyone to keep up and stick to those standards he sets. This constant drive and seeming unending supply of energy is what seems to have spurred Wales on to bigger and better things this season and the possibility of a first World Cup for Wales, is no longer such a fevered dream.

The Key to Wales

While Alun-Wyn Jones may have never been offered the Freedom of Wales, he is certainly a pivotal man for the principality come September. While there are plenty of leaders and incredibly talented youngsters in the Wales squad this season, no one seems able to haul them together quite as well as the man himself. And if Wales were to win, then the nation would love to see Jones with the Freedom of Wales. Now I’m aware this honour does not exist, but even if it did, he could never accept because Alun-Wyn Jones is the key to Wales.