Scotland’s Huw Jones will play for Premiership champions Harlequins next season after penning a deal with the London-based club on Tuesday.
It marks the next step in a fascinating journey for Jones, who had been rumoured to join the recently relegated Top 14 side Bayonne at the start of the year.
Known for his attacking play and impressive international try-scoring record, Jones first made his name playing for Western Province and the Stormers in South Africa, where he was based during a initial gap year.
Jones was then snapped up by National Team Performance Analyst for Scotland, Gavin Vaughan, in 2016 and made his international debut against Japan in the summer that year. On his first home start against Australia, he scored a brace of tries as Scotland narrowly lost 23-22.
By this point, Jones had caught the attention of Scottish Rugby and, although he continued to see out the season with Western Province – which included a man-of-the-match performance in his side’s Currie Cup victory over Natal in 2017, Jones was headed to Glasgow Warriors.
Although Jones’ form has dipped and returned over the subsequent years – notably missing out on Gregor Townsend’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup – his attacking prowess is not to be underestimated.
His two tries – and assist for Sean Maitland’s score – against England in the 2018 Six Nations is something Glasgow began to see again last season, and certainly an aspect which attracted the attention of the Harlequins recruitment team as well.
👋 𝗪𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗛𝘂𝘄 𝗝𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀.
✍️ We’re delighted to announce the signing of Scotland international @HRFJones.
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) July 6, 2021
Born in Edinburgh but having grown up in the south of England – first Kent and then Somerset – Jones has enjoyed a lot of different experiences in his life, but said that he always felt Scottish despite being away from his country of birth for so long. Now at a side which he hopes can fit in with his style of rugby, Jones can finally cement his place within the starting XV of Scotland more permanently from now on.
Harlequins already have a strong centre roster in what proved to be quite the attacking threat in the Premiership semi-final and final, with André Esterhuizen and Joe Marchant just two of the big names in the squad.
With Jones equally comfortable at full-back, the Scot could play a more varied role in Quins’ gameplan next season.