Wales prop Adam Jones signs for Cardiff Blues after leaving Ospreys

Adam Jones signs for Cardiff Blues
Adam Jones signs for Cardiff Blues

Wales and British and Irish Lions prop Adam Jones has signed for Cardiff Blues on a one-year deal.

He left Ospreys at the end of last season and had been in limbo because of the ongoing dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four Welsh regions.

If and when a new deal over the funding of the domestic game is resolved he had been expected to rejoin Ospreys.

But the 33-year-old, who has won 95 Wales caps, has instead joined the side from the Welsh capital.

Jones wrote on Twitter:external-link "Delighted to have signed for the @cardiff_blues - exciting times! Loved every minute playing for the @ospreys the last 11 years - it's been ace!"

New Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett said: "Adam has joined the Blues determined to achieve something special with us.

"He is as hungry as ever for success and a very driven man.

"Adam wants to make a difference and that is exactly why we want him here.

"He will be great for the younger players to learn off and is a world class tight-head prop who will add considerably to the squad we are assembling."

Ospreys coach Steve Tandy said Jones' departure was "the end of an era", adding: "It's a line in the sand and we've just got to move on and got to talk about the players we have."

Earlier the Swansea-based region expressed their disappointment, saying Jones had been made a new contract offer in 2012, and again in 2013 - each of them unconditional on any fresh agreement being struck between the WRU and the regions, and each rejected by Jones, who told them he preferred to sign a central contract with the WRU.

The Ospreys statement continued: "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."

That offer remained on the table, the region added.

Adam Jones (bottom row, fifth from left) posing in the official Cardiff Blues 2014-15 squad picture
Adam Jones (bottom row, fifth from left) in the Cardiff team photo - he was at Ospreys for 11 years

Wales flanker and captain Sam Warburton was also included in a Blues squad picture released on Twitter, but as a centrally contracted WRU employee, he remains unavailable for the region's games pending a new agreement with the WRU.

Meanwhile Ospreys say the ongoing dispute left them in a difficult position regarding player contracts.

"The reduction in guaranteed income post-31 December [2013] had a direct impact on our ability to re-contract, particularly with other player commitments already completed."

During the period in which his future was uncertain, Jones was linked with Toulon, among others.

And he recently trained with former club Neathexternal-link as the new season approached.

Jones reached the 100-Test cap tally in his 95th Wales appearance against South Africa in June, having made five Test appearances over two Lions tours.

However, his last Wales start ended prematurely when he was substituted by coach Warren Gatland in the first half of their second Test defeat by South Africa.

He joins long-term Wales front-row colleague Gethin Jenkins in the Blues front-row as well as another familiar Test colleague in Wales and Lions hooker Matthew Rees.

But he will renew tight-head rivalry with former Ospreys colleague Craig Mitchell, who has joined Blues from Exeter.

Jones' former Ospreys coach Sean Holley, now of English Championship club Bristol believes the move is good for player and his new team.

Holley said: "It's a great signing for the Blues… personally I feel they haven't got that position right since the inception of regional rugby [in 2003].

"When you pair Adam up with his old friend Gethin Jenkins and Matthew Rees you have a formidable platform."

Jones' first chance to face his former team comes on Sunday, 12 October when Blues travel to Liberty Stadium in the Pro12.

Adam Jones (right) and Duncan Jones playing for Neath in May, 2003
Adam Jones (right) made his Neath debut against Cardiff in 2000
Adam Jones tackles Australia's Matt Giteau in 2006
Adam Jones has made 95 Wales apperances
Adam Jones was a British and Irish Lions tourist in 2009 and 2013
Adam Jones was a British and Irish Lions tourist in 2009 and 2013