Adam Jones: Prop in 'best shape of life' says Blues boss Hammett

Adam Jones goes on the charge for Cardiff Blues against former side Ospreys
Jones made his Wales debut in 2003 and won Grand Slams in 2005, 2008 and 2012

Prop Adam Jones still has plenty to offer Wales, according to Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett.

The 33-year-old British and Irish Lions tight-head has been left out of Wales' squad for the autumn internationals.

"I'm not overly familiar with the strength of Welsh tight-heads to be honest, ask me in a year and I'll have a very good idea," Hammett said.

"But one thing I do know is that Adam Jones is in some of the best shape of his life."

Wales coach Warren Gatland has said "the door is not closed" on the 95-times capped prop, despite omitting Jones for the Tests against Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa.

Hammett believes that Jones will be ready if he gets a recall, whether that comes in November or he has to wait until the Six Nations in February.

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: v Australia (14:30 BST)
Saturday, 15 November: v Fiji (14:30 BST)
Saturday, 22 November: v New Zealand (17:30 BST)
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 BST)
All games to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

"While he may miss out on this early series, if he continues on the track he's on... if the call does come up he's going to be in a great position and I think 'Gats' is going to be really stoked with what he's got," Hammett said.

Blues have provided four players to Wales, with Gethin Jenkins, Cory Allen, Alex Cuthbert and captain Sam Warburton named in the squad.

But there was no place for back-row forward Josh Turnbull or back Rhys Patchell.

"They're both players that are on the up, who have got a heck of a lot of games this season to continue to prove themselves," Hammett added.

"At the moment it's a real competitive environment here for them to make the starting side, so that should only make it better.

"In time I want the club to be seen as a club that develops young players and turns them into Welsh internationals."

Patchell started his career for Blues at fly-half but Hammett indicated that he may continue with the experiment of playing the 21-year-old at full-back, or even centre.

"I think he's a guy who has got the skill enough to potentially play... centre, he's a big, strapping lad so he can certainly play in all those areas obviously having a kicking game as well," Hammett said.

"So far in this campaign I think his form has been better at full-back."

Hammett also revealed that new recruit Gareth Anscombe will arrive from Waikato Chiefs in a fortnight.

The New Zealander fly-half or full-back, who is Wales-qualified through his mother, could make his Blues debut in the LV= Cup game at Newcastle Falcons on 7 November.

Top Stories