The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that Duncan Jones has signed a new contract that will keep him at the region until the end of the 2012/13 season.
The 31 year old loose-head was part of the original Ospreys squad for the inaugural 2003/04 season, and the new three year extension will take him to 10 years with the region.
Jones made his Ospreys debut in January 2004 against Toulouse in the Heineken Cup, and he has gone on to rack up 115 appearances to date, putting him second in the all-time appearance list for the region, behind his fellow loose-head Paul James. He has also established himself as a regular in the national squad since making his Wales debut against Australia in 2001, with 57 caps to his credit.
Speaking after putting pen to paper on his new contract, Jones expressed his pleasure at committing himself to another three years with the region, stressing that the competition for places at the Ospreys is key to future success, not just for himself personally, but also for the Ospreys. He said:
“I’ve been a part of this organisation since the very start so I’m obviously very pleased to be able to sign a contract that will take me through to 2013, which will make it 10 years as an Osprey for me. It’s important to know that I need to be at the top of my game if I want to play every week or else I won’t be picked, competition creates a strong and healthy environment. There is real strength in depth here in my position. We’ve got Paul James and Ryan Bevington on my side, there are some very good props in the squad and that’s not too mention some good young boys coming through the development system.
“I think it’s important that wherever you decide to play your rugby that competition keeps you on your toes or else you will inevitably become complacent. That certainly won’t happen here, if I let my standards slip, I know that there are quality players ready to take my place. We’re an ambitious group here, we are obviously proud of what we have achieved so far in our short history, but we genuinely believe that there’s a lot more to come from us. I want to be a part of that, and I want to do what I can to help bring more success to the region.”
Jones added that the constantly evolving environment at the region was also key to the decision to remain an Osprey:
“You hear people saying when they move clubs that that they felt that they needed a fresh challenge or a change of environment but being part of such a progressive organisation means that isn’t an issue here. The set-up is constantly evolving, constantly improving, and the place is unrecognisable from 2003, even season-by-season it’s developing which is important as it keeps everybody excited. There are fresh challenges all the time and it keeps you on your toes.
“There’s always a sense of excitement about the place. There’s a great work ethic among the group, there are high standards expected of everyone that certainly makes it a challenging environment to be in, and it’s one that can only improve you as a player. Hopefully, that can push us on as a team to achieve our long-term goals.
“I’m really enjoying my rugby and I think that I’ve still got a lot to offer, so I certainly don’t think it’s my last contract. I’m delighted that management at the region still see me as having a part to play in their plans over the coming seasons and I don’t intend resting on my laurels, I want to repay them for their faith. As I said, competition for places is huge, so whether I’m first choice, or pushing players ahead of me to try and get back into the team, I’m going to be giving it everything to help to continue moving the Ospreys forward.”
Ospreys Forwards Coach, Jonathan Humphreys, said that everyone involved with the region would welcome the news:
“Duncan is one of our senior players, he has an extremely positive influence on others in the group and is an outstanding professional who sets the highest standards for himself and those around him. He adds so much to the Ospreys environment, on and off the pitch, so it is excellent news that we will have his services until at least 2013.
“We are looking to build a squad based around individuals who display the right values, characteristics and desire, and Duncan is certainly someone who possesses all of those and he will continue to be an asset for the Ospreys.”