Harlequins boss Paul Gustard has dismissed claims that former Wales prop Adam Jones is quitting the club to take up a new role with the Ospreys.
Ospreys are now under the control of former Quins coach Toby Booth and rumours of a move back to Wales for the former Lions prop have been circulating for weeks, but Gustard ended that speculation today in a zoom media call from the club’s training base in Surrey where former Munster favourite Jerry Flannery is now part of the set-up.
Gustard, the Harlequins head of rugby, who announced the signing of Ealing loosehead Jordan Els today, made it clear Jones has signed a new contract that ties him to Quins who will signal the return of Gallagher Premiership rugby after the enforced lockdown with a home game against Sale Sharks on August 14.
Gustard said: “Adam rang me when this appeared and he has no idea where it came from. We knew Toby was a short term thing and Adam signed a new contract for the club shortly after Toby signed for the Ospreys and any conversation about Adam going to the Ospreys would have happened then. Adam is committed to the club and he around the place and is quite a formidable size! I am delighted with coaches we have and the different kind of personalities and skills.
“Ospreys have a massive talent pool of players and Toby is very articulate and a good thinker about the game. Let’s be fair Ospreys have been pretty rubbish for a while and the only way is up.
“Our theme as a squad has been to “win the wait” as we have been in a holding pattern. It’s been great to see the players back out onto the field and it has been massively changing landscape on and off the field. For me as head coach it has been brilliant to welcome a new staff member (Jerry) who wil be a really good value for us. All of the Premiership teams are facing the same dynamics and we have been good in terms of our preparations and how much we have thought about how we get things right.
“It is down to each individual club to manage the work load on players and it will require some rotation. We start on a Friday and then there is likely to be changes for games two and three and we have to be sensible. It is not a hard and fast rule.”
Centre Joe Marchant is now back from his period playing for the Blues in Super Rugby and has joined training this week. “The rest of the players have been in doing some form of training for around six weeks,” added Gustard. “Joe played a handful of minutes in the last game for the Blues and he has only really joined us this week and looks in great condition as always. He is fit, strong and in a fresh state of mind and enjoyed the privilege of being allowed to experience that and moving forward it is important we see the benefit of Joe’s experience over there.
“I spoke to Leon MacDonald (Blues coach) about him and what they have been doing that might enhance the programme we are putting together. It has been good for Joe and brilliant he as been able to train with the likes of Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett. He is confident and ready to kick on in the next stage of his career and hopefully we get the next seven or eight years out of hm.”
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