Geoffrey Boycott marked arguably his greatest achievement as a cricketer with a flash of the stubbornness that came to define his career.
The great opener found himself divested of his cap by an over-enthusiastic, pitch-invading supporter after becoming the first man to complete a hundred centuries in a Test match.
What to do?
Boycott knew exactly what to do, with this embodiment of Yorkshireness declining to resume his innings for England against Australia at Headingley until the said cap was handed back to him. It eventually did return, but only after a loudspeaker appeal and a 10-minute delay in play.
It’s unlikely any such scenes will greet the world record that seems certain to come Alun Wyn Jones’ way in Llanelli this weekend. For a start, the coronavirus pandemic means there will not be any supporters present to witness the second row setting a new all-time best Test rugby appearance mark of 149.
But Jones isn’t one for dramas or self-indulgence, anyway.
It’s never been his style and never will be.
But what a mark he is setting, one achieved over more than 14 years at the top of the mountain and one that would have been considered unimaginable when Gareth Edwards became the first Welshman to win 50 caps for his country. Edwards’s red-letter day back in 1978 was rightly celebrated as a example of extraordinary longevity back then, achieved over 11 years without the scrum-half missing a single Wales game.
Now the achievement of reaching 50 caps is commonplace, with 47 Wales players having got there.
Some stick around for much longer, further underlining their durability.
Below is an all-time most capped Wales XV, based on appearances for their country. Some selections posed problems, with the likes of Gareth Thomas and Colin Charvis, for instance, having won caps in different positions. They are accommodated in what are felt to have been their best positions.
15. Gareth Thomas (100 Wales caps)
The centurion has to be in this side even though he played in three different positions — so apologies to Leigh Halfpenny, who misses out, though we are sure the Scarlets man will get over it.
Full-back was where Alfie played his best rugby, highlighted by his first-half display against France in 2005, when he saved at least three tries with some of the bravest tackling seen in the Six Nations. Reached his century of Wales caps in his final international. No one could say he didn’t deserve the honour.
14. George North (96 caps)
He’s often maligned but he’s showing durability as he edges towards a hundred Wales caps. Became the youngster player to appear 50 times for Wales when he reached the mark at just 23.
13. Jonathan Davies (82 caps)
He’s been a rock for Wales for more than 11 years and is still going strong.
12. Jamie Roberts (94 caps)
On his day, he hit the gain-line like a clap of thunder. Wales’ most capped centre.
11. Shane Williams (87 caps)
His Wales appearances were spread over 11 years and there were tears when he bowed out, but what a player he was, a magician who at times appeared capable of anything.
10. Stephen Jones (104 caps)
Inauspiciously, he made his Test debut in the 96-13 horror show against South Africa in 1998. Wales toyed with the idea of using him at full-back or centre for a while, but he settled at fly-half and became a true general, bowing out at the 2011 World Cup.
9. Mike Phillips (94 caps)
Impossible to ignore on or off the pitch. The purists said he was too tall to play scrum-half and didn’t have the textbook skills for the position, but Phillips was the supreme competitor, an outstanding defender and someone team-mates looked to in the heat of battle. He came up with tries at important times, while his performances at the 2011 World Cup were top class.
1. Gethin Jenkins (129 caps)
Still the world’s most capped prop.
This Welsh rugby warrior revolutionised the position with his work at the breakdown and lasted 14 years on the Test scene.
2. Ken Owens (77 caps)
His Test career took time to hit top gear, with 33 of his caps won off the bench. But he’s been a magnificent servant for Wales, a man others follow and hold in huge regard.
3. Adam Jones (95 caps)
Unlucky not to win a hundred Wales caps. His Test career ended with a substitution against South Africa in 2014 after barely 30 minutes. He deserved better — much better.
But four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, point to an epic shift for his country. Jones was the foundation stone on which so much of that success was built.
4. Gareth Llewellyn (92 caps)
The former Neath lock held the Wales cap record for a number of years, having made his Test bow as a 20-year-old against New Zealand in 1989. He led his country seven times and appeared at three World Cups. Rugby times were often challenging for the Welsh generation of players of which Llewellyn was a part, but he stuck around long enough to be involved in the uplifting 2003 World Cup campaign.
5. Alun Wyn Jones (139 caps)
He is poised to be a world-record breaker this weekend when Lions caps are thrown into the mix. And barring something unforeseen, he’ll complete 150 caps shortly after.
For Wales it’s set to be appearance number 140 this week.
It’s a mind-blowing tally, especially when taking into account the position Jones plays, with weekly batterings the norm.
His leadership has been immense over the years.
6. Colin Charvis (94 caps)
An 11-year Wales career here, and rare was the match that Charvis didn’t perform.
Some members of the press pack found him challenging off the pitch — he didn’t suffer fools and was always prepared to contest his corner.
But he was also blessed with a generosity of spirit which he still has in his post-playing life.
7. Martyn Williams (100 caps)
His tally could have been higher had Wales not enlisted Brett Sinkinson beyond the eligibility rules. Potentially, the episode cost Williams 20 Test appearances.
To his credit, he’s moved on, saying: “I was angry at the time, but I’ve let it go.”
Nugget, as he’s known throughout rugby, built his name as a player who combined wondrous creativity with bravery, skill and anticipation, the quality common to all outstanding No.7s.
A 16-year Wales stint says it all.
8. Taulupe Faletau (77 caps)
At one point, Faletau seemed set to break every appearance record in the book. He appeared indestructible, a man of steel who didn’t pick up injuries.
But after he left the Dragons for Bath in 2016, everything changed, with a bump never far away, contributing to Faletau starting only nine of Wales’ last 44 Tests.
He’s fit now and pushing forward again.
With a fair wind behind him, he could yet reach his cap century.