1. ITV Report

Jones 'couldn't wait forever' for new Ospreys deal

Adam Jones and Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett Photo: Cardiff Blues

Wales prop Adam Jones says he 'couldn't wait forever' for his playing future to be decided.

The 33-year-old British and Irish Lion's contract at the Ospreys expired at the end of last season and any new deal with the side hinged upon the long-running dispute between the WRU and regions being resolved.

Yesterday Jones was unveiled as the latest signing for rival region the Cardiff Blues.

In an open letter to Ospreys supporters published in today's South Wales Evening Post, Jones says he didn't feel he could turn the Blues offer down.

As pretty much the whole world and his wife will know by now, I had been waiting for a deal to be struck between the regions and the Welsh Rugby Union over a new participation agreement so the Ospreys could conclude a fresh contract with me.

I haven't been getting any money, but I was just hoping that the row that has blighted Welsh rugby for so long could be finally settled and I could pull on the black shirt again.

Then on Sunday morning, I received a call from the Blues asking whether I fancied a move there. I had to think long and hard about their proposal because I know all about regional rivalry and how much it matters in Wales.

But my circumstances were such that I didn't fell I could turn Cardiff down. I haven't been paid for two months and the season is barely a fortnight away. I need to be properly attached to a team and training with a group of players in readiness for the new campaign. I couldn't wait forever.

– Adam Jones, writing in the South Wales Evening Post
Jones was part of the victorious British and Irish Lions tour in Australia Credit: David Davies/PA Archive

Jones, who has been training with his former club Neath while he's been out of contract, says no one at the Ospreys was to blame and predicted a bright future for his former side.

There are a lot of young players at the region who are going to make Welsh rugby sit up and take notice in the years ahead.

But a new chapter starts for me now, and I'm just glad I'll be able to focus on rugby again.

Every player goes through bad times as well as good during his career, and the brilliant thing about Ospreys' supporters is that they have always been there for me when things haven't been going as well as I might have wanted.

I will appreciate that for the rest of my career and beyond. It has been quality all the way.

– Adam Jones