Versatile forward Luke Jones will return to the Melbourne Rebels in 2019 for two seasons, following a two-year spell in France with Bordeaux-Begles.
The 27-year-old made a name for himself as a versatile lock and blindside flanker during a six-season stint at the Rebels that began in 2011. His departure for France was considered a huge loss for Australian Rugby, with the talented youngster seemingly on the cusp of consistent representative honours.
“Having observed the transformation of the club over the last year, it’s obvious the Rebels have taken massive steps forward on and off the field and I want to be a part of that,” stated Jones.
“I’m not content with my rugby as yet and to continue my development as a player, the most important consideration for me was to find a world class rugby program that would help take my game to the next level. Speaking with David Wessels and a few of my former team-mates and looking at the quality of the list at the Rebels, it’s going to be a great challenge for me week to week to earn my spot.”
He added: “I wanted to return to Australia and the fact that I get to return to Melbourne just makes it that much more satisfying. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with old friends at the club and running out again onto AAMI Park. I have such fond memories of my previous time with the Rebels, but I want to add greater new memories too.”
With 74 Super Rugby caps already to his name, Jones will bolster a pack already brimming with talent. Jones’ experience is just one of the factors that has Rebels GM of Rugby Nick Ryan so excited.
“To be able to bring back to Melbourne a player of Luke’s quality is a reflection of the quality rugby program and momentum we are building at the Rebels,” said Ryan.
“Luke left Melbourne as a very good player and his game has developed further over in Europe. He is versatile and athletic and he is one of us. He’s returning because he can see the potential in us and we want him back because we can see the potential in him.”
Jones’ signing adds another dimension to a potent 2019 Melbourne Rebels back-row which will feature recent Wallaby tourist Angus Cottrell, Wallaby Richard Hardwick, and new recruit Isi Naisarani amongst a host of other talented players.
The post Luke Jones to make Rebels return appeared first on Planet Rugby.