Centre Huw Jones: I was ‘tempted’ by move to France before committing to Glasgow

Centre Huw Jones: I was ‘tempted’ by move to France before committing to Glasgow

Scotland centre Huw Jones revealed he was “tempted” by the prospect of a move to France but he ultimately felt that remaining with buoyant Glasgow was the right decision for his career overall.

The on-form 30-year-old was the subject of recent interest from Top 14 side Montpellier and was also linked with Bayonne.

However, he ended speculation about his future last week by signing a new two-year deal to commit his future to Warriors until 2026.

Jones, whose partner is expecting a baby at the start of April, admitted the prospect of following Scotland colleagues Blair Kinghorn and Ben White to France did hold some appeal.

“I’ve said in the past that I’d be open to a move to France, so, yeah, it was certainly tempting,” he said, speaking from the Scotland camp ahead of Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations match away to Italy.

“Like you do with all big decisions, you’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons and all that and I think when it came down to it, it was a rugby decision.

“I thought it would be a shame to pass up what’s happening at Glasgow at the moment. I think since (head coach) Franco (Smith) came in, since I came back to the club (from Harlequins in 2022), I’ve seen a real growth in the squad.

“The way we train, the way we play, I think we’re getting better and better. I think we’ve got a real momentum at the moment and I want to stay part of that.

“We’ve obviously got a baby on the way in the next couple of weeks, we’re pretty settled in Glasgow, we’ve got loads of friends around and my family live just outside Edinburgh, so it’s nice to be staying put.”

Jones will be without his trusty centre partner Sione Tuipulotu for the remainder of the Six Nations after his Glasgow team-mate sustained a knee injury in the win over England a week past Saturday.

Bath’s Cam Redpath is expected to slot in alongside Jones in Rome, although Glasgow’s Stafford McDowall and Northampton’s Rory Hutchinson are other contenders.

“I think we’ve got great depth throughout the squad but definitely at centre,” said Jones.

“I’m gutted for my mate (Sione), but Cam, Hutch and Staff are all really good players. They’ve all played well this season and I think we’re blessed in that position right now.

“Losing Sione isn’t great but with the guys who are able to step up, we can have confidence in them.”

Scotland have won two of their opening three championship matches but their controversial home defeat by France – when they were denied what appeared to be a legitimate late match-winning try – has left them with only a slim chance of catching leaders Ireland over the course of the last two matches.

A rare second-place finish still appears to be well within their grasp, however.

“If Ireland take it out of our hands (by beating England on Saturday), so be it,” said Jones. “We’ve got to focus on what we can control and this weekend we’ve got a massive game, Italy away. They’ll be up for it, they’ve improved.

“Last season was a close game against them and we were at home.

“They’re a threat to what we want to achieve so we’ve got to go there with the mindset of putting together our best performance of the championship so far.

“Against Wales, we just had a good first half and probably the last five minutes. France, again, we probably could have managed it better.

“England was a positive step forward but I think we should be looking to have our best performance now because we’re going to need it.”

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