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Jones Back Home?

Originally posted by SaintsFan_Webby+Jan 8 2006, 08:37 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (SaintsFan_Webby @ Jan 8 2006, 08:37 AM)</div>
@Jan 7 2006, 09:00 PM
He's apparantly re-joined the Scarlets.

I must admit I'm suprised at that. The Blues look to be developing very well, and Jones would probably fit well into their system. Almost seems like a step back returning to Llanelli. [/b]
The problem is that Nicky Robinson is the Welsh Back up outside half, and he is first choice at the Blues. Had Stephen gone to the Blues that would have resulted in our back up 10 being on the bench week in week out, which is absolutely no good for Welsh Rugby.

The Scarlets are building a very exciting set of Backs there with Daf James, Regan King & Mathew J Watkins at centre, Mark Jones, on the wing Barry Davies (who has just re-signed his contract) and Lee Byrne. Stephen will control the game fantastically, and I only hope that Gareth Jenkins will allow him to do it rather than control and force him to play the plays Gareth himself calls as Stephen recently commented on in an Interview to Midi Olympique. He said that at Mont he is allowed to do whatever he wants with the ball, while at Stradey he was told the two plays, and had to go with them.

Personaly I feel that a coach who does that is limiting his players to the ability of the coach, rather than giving them a free hand and tweaking their rough edges. It is a fine line between coaching a player, and simply creating a controlled robot.
the scalerts look the best welsh region and siging stephen will do them wonders - they do lack a quality 10
yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jonesy!

sorry i think i may have creamed my chinos.
I think a major factor in Steve's return to Strady is the fact that Dwayne Peel had signed an extension to his contract
Interesting article on Stephen's return:

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
French lessons opened door to Grand Slam

Jan 17 2006

Andy Howell, Western Mail

WALES' Grand Slam glory was only achieved because key personnel were playing abroad.

That's the astonishing message from South Africa wing Breyton Paulse, a Clermont Auvergne team-mate of Wales outside-half Stephen Jones.

Paulse's outspoken comments come after Wales coach Mike Ruddock and Scarlets counterpart Gareth Jenkins had both claimed that Jones's return home next season is a real boost for the game here.

Jones decided to head back to his former Stradey Park base at Llanelli last week, signing a three-year deal reportedly worth £200,000 per year.

Both Ruddock and Jenkins hailed the move as in the best interests of the player and Welsh rugby - but Paulse insists Wales benefit when stars like Jones and Toulouse's Gareth Thomas move abroad.

"Stephen has learnt really well during his time in France," said the 56-times capped Springboks winger explaining his reasoning on the issue.

"The couple of seasons he has had at Clermont have worked wonders for him.

"He's going back to Wales a better player and good luck to him because he's a really nice guy. He's also a true professional.

"Stephen has been a key player for Clermont and I think the way we play the game has suited him. He had to adapt to our open style and I think that was a main reason why Wales won the Six Nations last year.

"If he hadn't come to France I'm not sure if they would have done it.

"He has learnt how to control and open up a game. He has improved such a lot tactically and has brought the ideas he has had instilled into him in France back to the Welsh team.

"You could see that in the style of play they adopted last season with him at No 10. It was very French."

Jones made an incredible impact in France during his inaugural campaign last season after joining from the Scarlets.

He was voted the best outside-half in the French Championship (ahead of France star Frederick Michalak) after guiding Clermont to a place in this season's Heineken Cup.

The 28-year-old finished last term as the second highest points scorer in France and ousted England superstar Jonny Wilkinson from the No 10 jersey during the British Lions series with New Zealand last summer.

"Clermont Auvergne have been superb to me," said the 51-times capped Jones, who scored 57 points during the Grand Slam campaign and was a master tactician behind the Welsh scrum.

"The French League is great and I hope to come back a better player.

"I have really enjoyed it in France. It's a different challenge and a different style of rugby that has helped me really.

"French rugby is quite unstructured and it does make you think on your feet and try to react to different situations.

"We just go out and play. A lot of people just look at me sometimes for direction."

Wales great Jonathan Davies also believes living and playing in France has aided Jones enormously in his quest to become one of the world's best No 10.

"Stephen was brave to go to France and he will come back a better player and a stronger person," predicted the former Welsh captain. "Whatever you say about the modern game, fly-half is still the key position and Stephen is world class."

And, in a comment that ties in with Paulse's assessment of the European game, Davies pointed out, "Wales' players in France and England have all improved."

Apart from Thomas, who has become a Heineken Cup champion at Toulouse, Colin Charvis has knuckled down to the demands of professionalism at Newcastle and Mefin Davies has become a favourite of the notorious Shed at Gloucester.

On the eve of the 2006 Six Nations tournament and, in the wake of another disappointing Heineken Cup campaign, it is an issue that refuses to go away.

Does the comfort zone still exist in Wales? Are the training regimes as tough and demanding? Is the coaching good enough?

Does the Celtic League lack the intensity of the Guinness Premiership and French Championship? All these questions hang over Welsh rugby's head like a dark cloud.

Ruddock might want all his players back in Wales, but will he himself be missing out if he gets his way.

Page 2 - NO PLACE LIKE HOME:What they said about Jones

NO PLACE LIKE HOME:What they said about Jones

MIKE RUDDOCK - Wales coach

I want to see all our best players playing in Wales. I believe it is in their best interests.

In France he (Jones) would not have had the same period of rest, recovery and conditioning after the Lions tour that the Welsh-based players benefited from.

We have a good working relationship with the clubs outside Wales. But players can be caught in the middle, having to jump on planes after international matches, playing more games over a longer season.

There is only a certain amount of time a player can sustain that intensity.

GARETH JENKINS - Scarlets coach

The way rugby is now, if you don't look after yourself and understand that rest and recovery has to be a part of your yearly plan, you are not going to have longevity in the game.

In France, rest and recovery is not a factor. The players earn good money and they are expected to play themselves to death.

Coming home will give Stephen the environment that he needs for the next four or five years. It will extend his career.[/b]
ive got to agree that its made th individual players better - but i dissagree that its the main reason we won the gs.
Originally posted by loratadine@Jan 17 2006, 04:19 PM
ive got to agree that its made th individual players better - but i dissagree that its the main reason we won the gs.
What do you mean? Better players don't make better teams?
yes but there only 2 of the welsh squad that have benefited from playing in france - and two players dont make a team - so in my eyes thats not the main reason we won the gs.
It depends on the individual player. You cant just ship the whole squad all over the world. Some would thrive, others would get home sick

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