As the most capped player in Test rugby and now the oldest captain in Lions history, it seems inconceivable there could be anything surprising left to learn about Alun Wyn Jones. And yet here it is: this 6ft 6in, 19st behemoth can do the splits. Neither is it simply a party trick. Rather, it underlines Jones' remarkable commitment to his sport why, even at the age of 35, he has shown no signs of any decline to his outstanding physical prowess. The secret to his longevity – he now has 157 caps, taking him well clear of New Zealand's Richie McCaw – is reminiscent of the unorthodox and pioneering fitness regime of the oldest Test Lion of all, Neil Back, who was 36 when he played against New Zealand in 2005. And yet the determination to keep himself in prime condition is very much down to Jones. “There have probably been more naturally skilled and more athletic players, but Alun Wyn was always looking to be ahead of the curve in terms of conditioning,” recalls Adam Jones, his former team-mate with the Ospreys and Wales. “He was the first I knew who looked to the NFL for trends around prehab and recovery. “To improve his flexibility and his running he taught himself to do the splits. It was part of his burning desire to beat everyone on the pitch but also challenge himself to be the best and get every ounce out of his body. He bought a house with a pool in it just so he could do recovery work.” Sean Holley, who coached Jones at the Ospreys between 2005 and 2012, said that that unrelenting drive was key to relative lack of injuries during his career and his indefatigability on the field. Jones' natural demeanour may make him appear exhausted after a matter of minutes in a Test match, but it is rare for him to fail to complete 80 minutes for Wales.