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Huw Jones to travel to France this week to complete Top 14 switch

By Neil Fissler
Scotland's Huw Jones (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Fresh from Scotland’s latest Calcutta Cup win over England, Huw Jones is set to take advantage of a fallow week in the Guinness Six Nations to complete a move to Top 14 strugglers Montpellier.

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The 30-year-old Glasgow outside centre, who had a move to Bayonne scrapped three years ago after they were relegated to Pro D2, is due to travel to France to complete the move in the next 48 hours.

Bayonne were still keen on Jones but he has chosen to move to Montpellier, who secured a 28-23 victory over Bayonne at GGL Stadium last weekend. That was their fourth success in five matches, but they remain in 13th place in the league, two points from safety behind the 12th-place Perpignan.

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Rhys Patchell on his move to the Highlanders in Super Rugby

Former Scarlets and Wales number ten Rhys Patchell told RugbyPass’s Finn Morton about how his move to New Zealand came about.

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Rhys Patchell on his move to the Highlanders in Super Rugby

Former Scarlets and Wales number ten Rhys Patchell told RugbyPass’s Finn Morton about how his move to New Zealand came about.

Jones was born in Scotland and educated in England before moving to South Africa in his gap year where he started his rugby career with Western Province and then the Stormers in Super Rugby.

He is in his second spell at Scotstoun on either side of spending a season in the Gallagher Premiership with Harlequins, who stepped in to offer him a deal when his move to Bayonne fell through.

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Jones, who helped Quins to reach the 2022 Premiership semi-finals, can play in almost any position in the backline and he isn’t likely to be the last big-name arrival at the French club this summer.

After completing the Jones signing, Montpellier will switch their attentions to landing former Springboks fly-half Curwin Bosch from the Sharks. Sources in South Africa indicate that a move is very much on the cards.

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The 26-year-old has seen his career stall in Durban and a move to France could breathe new life despite being under contract to the Sharks until 2026.

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Poorfour 11 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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