Adam Jones signs for Cardiff Blues
August 19, 2014
Adam Jones is a Cardiff Blues player © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues have completed the signing of Wales tight-head Adam Jones.
ESPN understands the deal was completed on Tuesday morning with Jones later featuring in their team photo which was published on the region's Twitter account.
The news brings to an end one of the longest running transfer sagas of the summer. Jones' contract expired with the Ospreys at the end of last season and uncertainty over his next move saw him linked with a WRU-funded central contract, other Welsh regions and moves to both France and England. It was reported at the time the ongoing discussions concerning the Participation Agreement in Wales held up talks with him re-signing for the Ospreys.
But he will now start the season with the Blues where he will work with their new coach Mark Hammett and will join his fellow Wales and British & Irish Lions front-row team-mates Gethin Jenkins and Matthews Rees at the region.
"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," Hammett said. "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. He will improve what we are doing and I'm thrilled he is now a Blue for this season."
Jones added: "This is about a new challenge for me. At this stage in my career I want a new environment and to really push myself. I've been really impressed by the set-up at Blues and the desire to achieve in the coming years under the leadership of Mark Hammett. It is that ambition and potential for the future that excites me about this move.
"Obviously I would like to thank everyone at the Ospreys - from the players and coaches to the wonderful supporters - who have been absolutely fantastic with me. I wish the region every success for the future."
The news has not been greeted well in Swansea with the Ospreys confirming Jones had opted for a move to another region. They said they were "disappointed" by his decision and in a statement, they said they had been in discussions with Jones since 2012 but he turned down two offers with the latest offer, dependant on the Participation Agreement, still on the table.
The Ospreys statement read: "An initial contract offer that was unconditional on any Participation Agreement was made as far back as 2012, an offer that was declined by the player. A further unconditional offer was then made in October 2013 which was subsequently declined as he declared his interest in signing a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union.
"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. As has been widely reported, that offer still remains on the table.
"While we remain in a difficult situation in terms of no resolution to the Participation Agreement and not knowing our full revenue stream for 2014/15 and beyond, our financial forward planning allowed us to re-contract 16 players as well as completing the signing of eight new players for the coming season.
"Unfortunately, with Adam rejecting unconditional offers that were made prior to the expiry of the previous Participation Agreement, the reduction in guaranteed income post December 31 had a direct impact on our ability to re-contract, particularly with other player commitments already completed."
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Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.