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Jones Back Home?



Blues stepping up bid to sign Jones

Dec 31 2005

Delme Parfitt, South Wales Echo

CARDIFF Blues have moved their bid to sign Stephen Jones on a stage further by meeting the Wales fly-half for talks this week.

The Echo has discovered that Jones met up with Blues coach Dai Young while home from France on a Christmas break to discuss a possible move to the Arms Park.

As revealed in these pages last week, the Blues have made the British Lion stand-off their number one target and it's understood they are ready to put a contract worth £200,000 a year on the table in an attempt to end his exile in French rugby with Clermont Auvergne.

And Jones, whose two-year Clermont deal expires this coming summer, is believed to be ready to return to his homeland amid fears his ability to take a full part in Wales' World Cup build-up will be jeopardised if he stays put.

However, the Blues look set for a fierce tug-of-war with Llanelli Scarlets over Jones' services after the Stradey Park region also held talks with their former player over the festive period.
great news - its a petty the ospreys dont try and ding him - we need a good 10
If the Blues sign him i think there near the complete team.

But he will probably go to the scarlets to play with peel
Originally posted by An Tarbh@Jan 2 2006, 07:51 PM
Yeah but will Scarlets match the wages?
If it comes down to him going back to Wales, yes, because they won't want him going to Blues, playing against them. He was a quality player for the Scarlets when he played, and they could do with a 10 like Jones. I'm pretty sure they would try and sign him if the Blues do.

I don't understand why he feels he need to leave, it has done him the world of good since playing in France. Maybe the season is too long in France, and he feels he will burn out. After all, he is a major player for Wales.
he loves france and feels he has learnt alot there but is ready to come home - if it comes down to money - then i very much doubt the scarlets will be able to afford 200,000 a year for one player.
o0o yes - the blues are loaded compared to the other regions, - they are quite rich.
On the other hand if he stays in France I think that his current club will progress both in the Top14 and in the H-cup. It may be more likely for him to get then some club Rugby ***les.
On this same topic from the Telegraph website:

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Welsh clubs scrap to bring Jones back from France
By Mick Cleary
(Filed: 04/01/2006)

Stephen Jones, the Lions and Wales fly-half, is set to turn his back on French rugby and return to Wales. Jones' two-year contract with Clermont-Auvergne is up for renewal in the summer but he is being pursued by interested parties with a view to getting him back to Wales before the World Cup in 2007.

The chase for his signature is headed by his old club, Llanelli, and by Cardiff. There is little doubt that Jones will become the highest paid player in Welsh rugby, with a salary in the region of £250,000 a year should the deal go ahead. Jones, 28, turned down lucrative deals from Llanelli and Leicester when heading overseas in August 2004.

He was a key figure in Wales' Grand Slam campaign last season and his presence, possibly alongside his international team-mate Dwayne Peel, the Scarlets scrum-half, would be a boost for national coach Mike Ruddock. Peel recently rejected overtures from English clubs.

Jones, with 51 Welsh caps, has made a success of his venture in France, regularly heading the scoring charts in the top 14 championship.

Llanelli, meanwhile, have promised to ban for life the fan who clashed with Jonah Lomu during Monday's game against Cardiff at Stradey. The former All Blacks wing was verbally abused. "I'm shocked and disgusted by what I saw," Stuart Gallacher, Llanelli's chief executive, said.

The Neath-Swansea Ospreys have decided to appeal against the 10-week ban handed out to centre Gavin Henson for elbowing the Leicester prop Alex Moreno during last month's Heineken Cup game at Swansea.

Henson broke Moreno's nose in the first half during an ill-tempered match. Lock Ian Evans was suspended for eight weeks for kicking Harry Ellis, the Tigers scrum-half. The suspension rules Henson out of the opening three rounds of the Six Nations Championship. The appeal will be heard by a European Rugby Cup independent appeal committee.

Sale's director of rugby, Philippe Saint-Andre, pledged that his team can only get better even though Monday's 21-9 win over Bath took them back to the top of the Premiership. The Cheshire club are unbeaten in their Heineken Cup pool and almost certain to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time in their history.

"The best is still to come," said Saint-Andre yesterday. "We are a young team and, for sure, the continuity and understanding can only improve. But we have grown up. The guys now believe that they can win each game. It comes from a good spirit. That is why it was important to get so many of them to renew contracts."

Sale's front-line players - fly-half Charlie Hodgson, wing Mark Cueto, prop Andrew Sheridan, No 8 Sebastien Chabal and flanker Jason White - have committed to the club for the foreseeable future. Centre Chris Mayor is expected to agree terms this week. Only centre Robert Todd, who may head to America, and prop Ben Coutts, who is experiencing difficulties with work permits, are unsure of their futures.

Saint-Andre has been delighted with the form, in particular of Hodgson, and said: "For me, he is the best fly-half in Europe. He has matured as a player more than even I expected."

Northampton have agreed two-year deals with their young centres Jon Clarke and Rhodri Davies.[/b]
Jones is coming back to Wales as he is woried that playing abroad is likely to harm his RWC 07. His game has blossomed since moving to France ( I say France as no bugger can make up their mind what to call his team, Mont, Montferrand, Clermont Ferrand or Clermont Auvergne
) The last is the clubs new name as I understand it. Anyhow, this is the thing. He was a good player when at Llanelli, but his game was limited as he was told what plays to play two plays in advance, whereas at Mont, they basically make the first play, get the ball to him, and he decides how the play progresses.

The blues would be able to accommodate this style, but Gareth Jenkins the Llanelli Scarlets coach is a control freak and still calls the next two set pieces. I think this is a major factor to where he goes. As for The Cardiff Blues not being able to afford him
Peter Thomas their benefactor sold his company Peters Pies a few years ago, he nad his family are very shrewd businesspeople, who recently sold Cardiff Wales Airport, with Peters share around £37 Million. So the answer to the question is yes, they can afford it.

Personally I would rather he stayed in France, as although the French can be shitty, there is no way they can prevent him from playing in RWC, nor is there anyway they can overplay him anymore than he has been overplayed the last two seasons.
Originally posted by harrison2468@Jan 4 2006, 12:36 PM
Is there a salary cap for CL teams?
Well I understand that in these provinces salaries are at least partly paid by the Unions so the salary cap may be useless.
Originally posted by DonBilly+Jan 5 2006, 12:08 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DonBilly @ Jan 5 2006, 12:08 AM)</div>
@Jan 4 2006, 12:36 PM
Is there a salary cap for CL teams?
Well I understand that in these provinces salaries are at least partly paid by the Unions so the salary cap may be useless. [/b]
The way it works is that the four Welsh regions get funded from the WRU. This season it is £1.8 million (give or take a few £££). To give you an idea of how much the benefactors are spending, Peter Thomas (Cardiff Blues) loaned the club another £1.2 million this season.
The simple answer though is that NO there is no salary cap, but the WRU is trying to bring in central contracts for International players, the Regions however are fighting tooth and nail with some wanting it while others do not.
isnt there a limit on how much thye regions can spend though? Im sure i read it somewhere, and it would explain Real Tolouse.
Nope they can spend what they like.

And it is now official, Steven Jones is going back to Stardey Pac (llanelli Scarlets) on a 3 year deal.
Don't think so, he's certainly a class above compared to Bowen and Hercus and Scarlets don't look that bad even with them there so with Jones back they should improve imesurably next season, could make the difference between them getting out of their pool in the HEC as well.

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