A Scarlet for life

Guinness PRO12 Editor

11 Jan 2010


News, Scarlets

Wales fly-half Stephen Jones intends to remain a Scarlet for the rest of his playing days.

The veteran playmaker had been linked with a move away from the region when his contract comes to an end this summer but he has made it clear that he has no intention of playing his rugby elsewhere.

Nigel Davies’ men have endured a frustrating season to date, sitting next to bottom of the Magners League and looking unlikely to qualify for the knockout stages of European competition.

But a host of young players are currently making a name for themselves in Scarlets colours and Jones believes the future will still be a bright one for the region.

"I don’t know how many playing days I’ve got left in me, but there’s more than a good chance they’ll be at Parc y Scarlets!" Jones told BBC Sport.

"They way I look at things at the moment is ‘okay, we’re in transition’.

"We’ve got good youngsters who want to be successful with a good work ethic – they make the working week enjoyable."

As one of the world’s leading outside-halves, Jones was always likely to be linked with other sides.

Newspaper speculation suggested Cardiff Blues were keen to recruit the 32-year-old but Jones insists there was no substance in rumours that he would be heading to the Welsh capital next season.

Instead, Jones has praised the way he has been looked after by the Scarlets following what was a long, drawn-out 2008/09 season in which he finished the campaign with a further three British & Lions caps to his name.

"It (a move to the Blues) was never a possibility. I haven’t been in contact with the Blues, I haven’t spoken to Dai Young," added Jones.

"The club have been very good to me the way they’ve managed me, especially in the period where I came back from the Lions.

"They realise I’m a bit older now, a few more miles on the clock, so the club are good to me in the way they construct my working week."

And with the Six Nations just around the corner and a World Cup campaign on the horizon, Jones believes the way in which he is looked after both physically and mentally by the Scarlets staff will give him a good chance of continuing his international career for another two seasons at least.

"I’d like to be part of the Wales squad that goes to the World Cup, I’ll do everything to try and stay as fit as I can," stated Jones.

"I’ll try and prepare and train smartly to obtain that. That would be my goal and that’s what I’d like to get to.

"I’d have to assess things then, but obviously I’d be a lot older. I will see how the body is and more importantly the mind – if I’m enjoying it I might look to play on, it’s all about enjoyment."