Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce that full-back Ross Jones has put pen to paper on a new two-year contract, making him the 15th player to re-commit to the region during 2014.
The 22-year old has signed a deal that runs until the summer of 2016, and will do battle with Richard Fussell and summer signing Dan Evans for the number 15 jersey.
Born in Llanelli, he moved to Dublin with his family as a child and having come through the Leinster age-grade system represented Ireland at U18 level in the 2010 Five Nations Festival before switching to the Ospreys later that year. Capped by Wales at U20, he was a part of the 2011 Junior World Championship squad in Italy, and again the following year in South Africa, where they reached the semi-final.
Having featured regularly for Bridgend Ravens his Ospreys debut came in November 2011, away to Exeter in the LV= Cup, with his first start following just a week later at his club ground against Northampton Saints.
2012/13 was a big year for Jones as he featured 14 times for the region, primarily on the wing, including starts in both legs of the Heineken Cup double header against Toulouse. To date he has 22 appearances to his name, scoring one try. The second half of last season saw him featuring for Wales in the IRB World Sevens Series.
Speaking after signing his new contract, Jones said that he is determined to make his mark at the Ospreys over the coming two seasons, to make up for what he says was an “indifferent” one for him last time round.
“It’s great that I’ve signed another two-year deal” he said.
“Since coming back to Wales four years ago I’ve made this place my home so it’s the only place I want to play rugby.
“Two seasons ago I had plenty of game time, even if it was out of position on the wing, so I was disappointed with how last year went for me. I didn’t play much for the Ospreys and that’s something I’ve got to put right over the next two seasons. It’ll be difficult with Dan Evans and Richard Fussell in front of me but I’ve got to challenge myself.
“It was a great experience with the sevens, going to some amazing places and playing a high standard of rugby. Being involved there has helped me to improve my skills and will help make me a better player in the full game.
“I’ve got to work hard in this environment to keep improving, listen to the coaches about my work-ons, and just keep my head down. If I can do that, hopefully the next two seasons will be a good experience for me.”
Recruitment and Retention Manager, Andy Lloyd, has challenged Jones to go on and fulfil his undoubted potential after securing his new deal. He said:
"Ross is a hard working and diligent young man who had some impressive performances at Rabo and European level two years ago, really showing what he is capable of. The signings we have made in the back three over the last year means that the competition has intensified and it is important that Ross does what we believe he can do and uses that as a trigger to push himself and those around him to levels that match our ambition.
“He has gained a broader experience in different rugby environments in recent months and that has helped further develop his awareness of the mental and technical characteristics needed for consistent elite performance.
“Coming back for pre-season he understands what he has to do to establish himself within the senior group and we are looking forward to seeing him fulfil his potential over the next two seasons and hopefully beyond that.”
The 14 other players to have signed new deals with the Osprey since the start of the year are Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Lewis, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker, Jonathan Spratt, Ben John, Ryan Bevington, Dmitri Arhip, Nicky Smith, Dan Baker, Dan Suter, Lloyd Peers, Hanno Dirksen and Sam Davies.
In addition, the Ospreys have confirmed the signings of Josh Matavesi, Rynier Bernardo, Dan Evans, Sam Parry, Cai Griffiths and Gareth Thomas, with Aled Jenkins and Lloyd Evans also signing development contracts.