Glasgow Warriors have signed Huw Jones ahead of the 2017/18 season, confirming a deal that has been much-rumoured in recent weeks.
Edinburgh-born Jones, who currently plays Super Rugby in South Africa with the Stormers, has signed a two-year-deal at Scotstoun.
He made his Scotland debut against Japan in 2016 and scored two tries during a Man of the Match performance against Australia at BT Murrayfield later that year and is currently with the Scotland squad as the only 6 Nations player attached to a Southern Hemisphere club. He has 4 international caps so far.
Capable of playing at centre, full-back or on the wing, the 23-year-old is committed to the Stormers and Western Province for their respective 2017 Super Rugby and Currie Cup campaigns so may well not join up until after Dave Rennie; the Currie Cup runs until October and Western Province are usually there or thereabouts in the later stages.
To date, Jones has made 24 appearances for the Stormers in Super Rugby, scoring five tries during his time in Cape Town. He has also played 16 times for Western Province and finished 2016 as the joint top try scorer in the Currie Cup with seven in six appearances.
Speaking of the deal, Jones said: “I really like working with Jason (O’Halloran) as a coach, we work well together at Scotland and obviously he has worked with Dave Rennie before. I’ve never worked with Dave but he’s been really successful with the Chiefs, so I’m really looking forward to working with world class coaches.”
The move also adds weight to suggestions (in the Sunday Times) that Mark Bennett, who has yet to sign a new deal, will be on the move from the Warriors. Newcastle and Edinburgh have been touted as possible destinations for Scotland’s other fleet-footed centre. Edinburgh’s midfield in particular would benefit from a touch of International class and although on paper today it seems like a step down, based on Edinburgh’s ambitions as a club it would be a sensible if less glamorous move for now.
UPDATE (7/2): Further fuel to the fire today with the news that back up centres Sam Johnson and Nick Grigg have also been retained by Glasgow. Johnson has signed a new two-year deal while Grigg a one-year extension to his existing deal. As mentioned above, Glasgow already have Jones and Dunbar signed up and the rumours when Seymour and Swinson announced were that Horne’s deal is also done; they may be waiting for his return to fitness to announce. That leaves Bennett and Richie Vernon (also due an injury comeback soon) as the only centres at Glasgow without new deals. Edinburgh could do worse than snap up Vernon too…