Cardiff Blues have today made a major statement of intent ahead of the new season with the signing of Wales and British & Irish Lions prop star Adam Jones.
Legendary front row Jones, who has made 95 appearances for Wales and toured twice with the British & Irish Lions, has put pen to paper on a deal to play his rugby at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park this season.
Destructive prop Jones has been a cornerstone of the Welsh pack for the last decade, making his debut against England in 2003 and scoring on his first Six Nations appearance against Scotland the following year.
The Abercrave–born ace won the Grand Slam with Wales in 2005, 2008 and 2012 and featured in the last three Rugby World Cups, making a total of 12 appearances.
The 33-year-old, one of the most instantly recognisable and popular forwards in world rugby, was an integral member of the triumphant British & Irish Lions side that beat the Wallabies in 2013, adding three more caps to the two he won in South Africa in 2009.
Jones began his career with Neath in 1998 before switching to the Ospreys in 2003, where is made over 150 appearances for the region. He won the Celtic League with Ospreys on four occasions in 2004/05, 2006/07, 2009/10 and 2011/12.
Mark Hammett, Director of Rugby at Cardiff Blues, said: “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.
“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.”
Adam Jones said: “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.”
Peter Thomas, Chairman of Cardiff Blues, said: “We are delighted to recruit Adam and reunite the British & Irish Lions front row, alongside Matthew Rees and Gethin Jenkins.
“Adam is an iconic figure in Welsh rugby and a key part of the international set-up for the last ten years. He is one of the very best props in Europe and when it became clear he was available we acted quickly, in conjunction with our Director of Rugby, to secure his services over the last 48 hours.
“We hope this signing excites our fans and they see this as fantastic news. We have strengthened our pack resources this summer with the signing of internationals Jarrad Hoeata, Josh Turnbull, Craig Mitchell and Manoa Vosawai and now Adam will join and give us even greater depth and firepower up front.”