Sport Rugby

Friday 19 September 2014

Adam Jones chooses the Cardiff Blues over the Ospreys

Andrew Baldock

Published 19/08/2014 | 15:34

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Adam Jones during squad training in Perth
Adam Jones

Wales prop Adam Jones has rejected a contract offer from the Ospreys and has signed for their regional rivals Cardiff Blues.

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Jones' agents Big Red Management confirmed Jones' move on their Twitter account, accompanied by a picture of the player.

"All parties delighted that @adamjones3 has signed with @cardiff-blues," they tweeted.

Although the Blues have not formally confirmed 33-year-old Jones' arrival, he was included on a photograph of next season's squad that was published on the Blues' official Twitter feed on Tuesday.

Jones had also been linked to following Wales captain - and new Blues team-mate Sam Warburton - in signing a Welsh Rugby Union central contact, but the Blues have now secured his services on what is thought to be a one-year deal.

Confirming that Jones had told them he would not be re-signing at the Liberty Stadium - his contract expired at the end of last season - the Ospreys said they were "disappointed" with the outcome.

British and Irish Lions Test tighthead Jones has been out of work since his Ospreys contract expired at the end of last term.

He has been training with his former club Neath, as any new deal with the Ospreys hinged on a solution being found to the long-running dispute over a new agreement between the WRU and four professional regions - Ospreys, Blues, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons.

No agreement has yet been reached between the WRU and regions, even though the new season is less than three weeks away from kick-off.

Jones has won more than 90 caps for Wales, while he was a Test Lion on the 2009 tour of South Africa and last year's trip to Australia.

In a statement, the Ospreys said: "Adam Jones has today advised Ospreys Rugby that he will not be re-signing and instead has signed a contract with another region.

"We are disappointed with this outcome, having worked closely with Adam over a period of many months to find a resolution to the situation that satisfied all parties.

"An initial contract offer that was unconditional on any Participation Agreement was made as far back as 2012, an offer that was declined by the player.

"A further unconditional offer was then made in October 2013, which was subsequently declined as he declared his interest in signing a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union.

"When the proposed central contract failed to materialise we re-entered negotiations and, in good faith, made a new contract offer to the player which was dependent on the terms of any new Participation Agreement which may be concluded.

"As has been widely reported, that offer still remains on the table.

"While we remain in a difficult situation in terms of no resolution to the Participation Agreement and not knowing our full revenue stream for 2014/15 and beyond, our financial forward planning allowed us to re-contract 16 players, as well as completing the signing of eight new players for the coming season.

"Unfortunately, with Adam rejecting unconditional offers that were made prior to the expiry of the previous Participation Agreement, the reduction in guaranteed income post-December 31 had a direct impact on our ability to re-contract, particularly with other player commitments already completed."

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