Michael is widely regarded as one of the greatest All Blacks of all time. He was nicknamed 'the Iceman' because of the number of icepacks he needed for injuries.
Michael grew up in Te Atatu South and attended Henderson High School. His talent for playing was discovered early when as a 10-year-old he was tackling 15- to 18-year-olds. He made his international debut for Western Samoa, and first played for New Zealand in the first game of the inaugural World Cup in 1987. He scored the first try of the tournament and played in four games, including the final, as the All Blacks went on to win the competition. He also scored the first try of the second World Cup in 1991. In 2003 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
Michael Jones is well known for his Christian faith, especially since he refused to play rugby on Sundays. He was once asked how a Christian such as himself could be such an uncompromising tackler. In reply he quoted a phrase from the Bible: it is better to give than receive.
Jones has been a positive role model for young people, particularly for Pacific Islander youth, and in 1990 he received a New Zealand Medal for service to the Pacific Island community. He graduated from the University of Auckland with three degrees: B.A., M.A. and Bplan. Michael and his wife Maliena have three children and live in Auckland.