Wales v Barbarians: Legends Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Leigh Halfpenny bid farewell

Wales v Barbarians

Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 4 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT

Coverage: Live on S4C and via iPlayer; live on BBC Radio Wales (also available on Sounds, Sport & Radio Wales Extra), BBC Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website and app. Match report on the BBC Sport website and app. Highlights on Scrum V, Sunday, BBC Two Wales and online, Sunday, 5 November from 19:30 GMT and later on demand.

There has been plenty of talk about the validity of the uncapped Wales v Barbarians match this weekend.

But it will provide a chance to say goodbye to three Wales rugby legends at the Principality Stadium.

Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Leigh Halfpenny will have one last dance in the Cardiff stadium in which they have enjoyed so many memorable moments over the last 17 years.

Jones and Tipuric will line up for the Barbarians while Halfpenny will wear his cherished red jersey for the final time.

There are other sub-plots. Eddie Jones is involved in the Barbarians coaching staff after announcing he was resigning as Australia head coach following a disastrous World Cup.

Jones is coaching former Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, who he left out of his World Cup squad, while new All Blacks boss Scott Robertson is also in the Baa Baas set-up.

But Alun Wyn, 'Tips' and 'Pens' as they are affectionately known, should take centre stage in Cardiff.

The numbers are staggering. 352 Wales caps and 17 British and Irish Lions Test appearances between them. Grand Slams and Six Nations titles have been shared and World Cup semi-final defeats endured.

Savour them for one last time. You might not see their like again.

The record breaker

Lock Jones, 38, is world rugby's most capped player with 170 internationals, 158 for Wales and 12 Tests for the Lions.

He made his international debut against Argentina as a flanker in 2006 and was part of three Grand Slam-winning and five Six Nations-winning sides, while reaching two World Cup semi-finals in four global tournaments.

For the Lions he played in a dozen consecutive Test matches, over four series, in a 12-year period. Jones captained the side in the series decider against Australia in Sydney in 2013 before leading the tourists in the 2-1 defeat against South Africa eight years later.

Jones is the record Ospreys' appearance holder and won four league titles with the region before leaving in the summer of 2023.

He was named in Gatland's preliminary World Cup squad this year before announcing his international retirement in May. He spent a short-term deal with Toulon during the global tournament which finishes in a couple of weeks. After that, he says he is "done".

Alun Wyn Jones: "It is going to be emotional, it's been a long time coming. I've been chasing an egg for a long time, so to have the last one in the stadium is going to be special.

"In any walk of life, all good things come to an end. When and where isn't always on your terms, whether it's injury, selection or whatever.

"So to be able to do it at home against Wales for the Barbarians - it's not a Heineken Cup final or a World Cup final - but the emotive elements for me personally are plain to see."

Warren Gatland: "I think Alun Wyn should be remembered as probably the greatest second row that has taken the field for Wales.

"He is incredibly well respected around the world and recognised as the player who has the most international caps, and you can't take that away from him.

"Four Lions tours and captaining them is such an achievement. When people are talking in the future about Alun Wyn Jones they will say what a player he was, somebody who led by example and what a fantastic captain and leader of men. We should celebrate that."

The man in the blue cap

The Trebanos boy, recognisable by his trademark blue scrum cap, was capped 93 times for his country after making his international debut in 2011.

The flanker featured in two Grand Slam and four Six Nations-winning sides as he played alongside Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau in one of the finest back-rows in Wales' history.

Tipuric captained Wales during the 2022 autumn internationals and also took over the Ospreys' leadership from Jones.

He was selected for three Lions tours, but only managed one Test appearance and was ruled out of the 2021 series in South Africa after suffering injury in the opening match against Japan in Murrayfield.

Like Jones, Tipuric was named in an extended 54-player training squad for the World Cup this year, but the pair announced their international retirements on the same day.

Tipuric had honed his skills at the Ospreys after learning from the likes of New Zealand stars Marty Holah, Jerry Collins and Filo Tiatia.

He remains captain, has passed 200 appearances for the region and will continue in an Ospreys shirt for this season at least.

Justin Tipuric: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to face my home nation and play against some of my best mates.

"Representing the Barbarians is a huge honour. It will be a really special day and I want to enjoy every moment. The Baa Baas have an important place in rugby and I want to do my part in the jersey.

"Representing the Barbarians, coming up against friends and playing alongside new friends means a lot.

"It will also be special to have my parents, wife and kids there for one last time in international rugby."

Warren Gatland: "Justin has been an integral player in the Wales back row since he made his debut back in 2011.

"He's quite quiet off the pitch, but his skillset and his work rate really set him apart from others. He doesn't like a lot of fuss, but I'd like to congratulate him on a great career.

"He has made an outstanding contribution to Welsh rugby and I wish Justin all the best for the future."

The quiet man with the deadly boot

Leigh Halfpenny kicked a touchline conversion in his 99th Wales international after coming on as a replacement against France in March 2023
Leigh Halfpenny kicked his final Six Nations touchline conversion in his 99th Wales international after coming on as a replacement against France in March 2023

Full-back Halfpenny announced his decision to retire from international duty following Wales' exit from the World Cup, his third global tournament.

The Gorseinon boy once deemed too small for professional rugby has proved doubters wrong.

Halfpenny won 101 caps for Wales and scored 801 points after making his debut at the age of 19 against South Africa in November 2008.

In a career that sometimes stalled due to injury - missing the 2015 World Cup and spending 19 months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury suffered in his 100th international appearance against Canada in Cardiff in 2021 - Halfpenny's impressive Test caps and points tally could have been greater still.

He is third on the all-time list of men's points scorers for Wales, behind Neil Jenkins (1,049) and Stephen Jones (917). Jenkins was Halfpenny's hero growing up and became his mentor as Wales' kicking coach.

Halfpenny made four Test appearances for the Lions across the 2013 and 2017 tours, although he was also selected in 2009 before injury cut short his involvement. Halfpenny was named player of the series in 2013, helping the Lions to a 2-1 series victory in Australia.

He was originally a member of the Ospreys academy before he signed for Cardiff Blues before the 2007-08 season, winning the 2009 Anglo-Welsh Cup and 2010 European Challenge Cup with the capital club.

He signed for Toulon in 2014, winning the 2015 European Champions Cup with the French side before returning to Wales with Scarlets in 2017, where his six-year stint ended in the summer.

The 34-year-old is set to prolong his career, Crusaders in New Zealand his most likely destination, with an official announcement expected next week.

Leigh Halfpenny: "I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to wear the jersey over the last 15 years.

"It's been a privilege to put on the Welsh shirt and excited for Saturday. I've got friends and family coming along, and I'm looking forward to going out one last time.

"To run out alongside guys like Alun and Justin, albeit they'll be on the opposite side, and share the field with those two greats of the game and Welsh legends again, will be special."

Warren Gatland: "Leigh has been an unbelievable servant. A lot of people have spoken about what an incredible professional he is in terms of the way he trains and prepares.

"I can't speak more highly of him in terms of a rugby player and a person.

"He's been one of those people who have set incredible standards and is a great example for younger players.

"He is not the biggest man in the world, but has always given 100% for that jersey and is a proud Welshman.

"I have been fortunate to be a big part of his career, selecting him for his first cap and involved in the last time he plays for Wales."

The Saturday afternoon cast

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Tom Rogers, George North, Johnny Williams, Rio Dyer; Sam Costelow, Tomos Williams; Corey Domachowski, Dewi Lake, Lloyd Fairbrother, Ben Carter, Adam Beard, Dan Lydiate, Jac Morgan (capt), Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Harri O'Connor, Teddy Williams, Taine Plumtree, Kieran Hardy, Cai Evans, Mason Grady.

Barbarians: Ilasia Droasese (Fiji); Shaun Stevenson (New Zealand), Len Ikitau (Australia), Izaia Perese (Australia), Selestino Ravutaumada (Fiji); Nicolas Sanchez (Argentina), Simione Kuruvoli (Fiji); Joe Moody (New Zealand), Tevita Ikanivere (Fiji), Taniela Tupou (Australia), Rob Leota (Australia), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, capt), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Michael Hooper (Australia), Rob Valetini (Australia).

Replacements: Angus Bell (Australia), Asafo Aumua (New Zealand), Peni Ravai (Fiji), Api Ratuniyarawa (Fiji), Tom Hooper (Australia), Lautaro Bazan Velez (Argentina), Ben Donaldson (Australia), Andrew Kellaway (Australia).

Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy).