Glasgow admit defeat in bid to hold on to Huw Jones

Scotland international is leaving Scotstoun for 'pastures new', assistant coach Kenny Murray accepts

Huw Jones
Huw Jones is leaving Scotstoun after four years with Glasgow Warriors. Image: ©INPHO/Craig Watson.

GLASGOW have accepted that Huw Jones will leave the club in the summer after the 27-year-old Scotland international turned down their offer of a new contract. Jones, who moved to the Warriors from South Africa in 2017, is reported to have agreed terms with French club Bayonne.

“I know we had been discussing a contract with him, but he’s obviously decided not to take that and he’ll be moving on to other pastures,” Glasgow assistant coach Kenny Murray said yesterday. “He’s a big player for us who’s played well over the last few years both at 15 and 13. But he’s decided to move on and we need to move on as a club as well.

“We’ve looked to make moves to do that already. It’s disappointing to see any player go, but we believe we’ve got some exciting players coming in as well.”


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Jones’ fortunes have fluctuated in his three and a half years with the Warriors. He arrived as a full Scotland international with a reputation as an excellent attacker, and established himself in the team in his primary position of outside centre.

There was considerable talk of him leaving after he appeared to fall out of favour with Dave Rennie, but once the former head coach gave him a run of games things settled down. More recently, he has moved from 13 to full-back – although he is back in the former position for tomorrow’s PRO14 match against Leinster.

The squad for the game at the RDS gives an indicate of what Murray meant when he talked of the club moving on. Ollie Smith comes in for his first start at full-back, former New Zealand Under-20 cap Cole Forbes will make his debut on the left wing, and right-winger Rufus McLean will be making just his third appearance.

Forbes is Scottish-qualified, and although loath to make a firm prediction about the winger’s career trajectory, Murray has been very impressed by what he has seen so far. “I think he needs to prove himself here – he’s not played yet. We’ve only seen him play in some clips, but from what I’ve seen he looks like a guy with potential to step up to that level. 

“I’d wait until I see him play for us in that pro environment before he’s pushed forward to play any higher up, but I’ve really enjoyed watching him in training. He’s got a real physicality about his game, he reads the game really well, particularly defensively, and he’s got that sort of New Zealand confidence. 

“Who knows? He could be the next to move up to the international level.”

Meanwhile, Zander Fagerson is among those players listed as unavailable, and Murray thinks this game could count as one of the four matches the tighthead prop must miss as a result of his four-game ban being upheld by a Six Nations appeal committee. “He didn’t get his ban overturned, but my understanding of what has happened is that this game would potentially count,” the coach added. “Scotland have released nine players back to us, Zander could have played if we’d wanted him this week, so yeah, my understanding is that’s the case.”

The France match was due to be one of the games Fagerson would miss after being red-carded against Wales. However, the appeal committee said on Thursday that they would issue a definitive ruling after a new date for that match is announced.


Kelly Brown returns to Saracens as an assistant coach

 

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Stuart Bathgate
About Stuart Bathgate 958 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

11 Comments

  1. Very poorly treated by Rennie and Wilson – wish the lad well really hope the move gives him the confidence boost he needs. Coaches leaving, players leaving Glasgow does not seem to be a happy place

  2. There are a few players Glasgow could do without, not sure that Jones is one of them.I can only hope that he revives his career like most of the other guys who have left Glasgow. On his day he is an elegant elusive runner he is a loss.

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  3. Mixed emotions about this. Undoubtedly a good player on his day but there is just something about him that can mean he comes across as a bit petulant. He’ll free up a considerable wedge of salary on the plus side

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    • Disappointing but in truth he never really delivered at Glasgow for whatever reason. Would have liked to see him given a fair run at the centre position but never happened. Hopefully he will regain his form in France for Scotland’s benefit rather than disappear off the international scene.

    • Petulant?? On the contrary he has done everything that’s been asked of him and more and never sulked or complained. Glasgow’s loss is Bayonne’s gain.

  4. Jones, Brown, Gray, Hogg, Russell and Rennie have left some pretty clear writing on the wall at Scotstoun. And it isn’t pretty.

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    • We can’t afford what these players deserve to earn. Probably more importantly and I talk from personal experience these players need new challenges and probably different environments to develop and play their rugby. 🐻

  5. Russell,Hogg and Grey have for whatever reason been revitalised by their moves. Here’s hoping this move does the same for Huw Jones. Scotland needs him back firing on all cylinders.

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    • Letting him play in his actual position would be a start….he’s been treated appallingly badly by Glasgow both Rennie and Wilson. Hope his next club and coach are a bit more professional in their thinking

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      • Absolutely right. Why should he stay treated poorly and I’m sure being shunted to 15 was the last straw. Good luck to him.

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