He’ll always have Paris, former Wallabies forward Luke Jones might be able to say after making a successful escape from France Top 14 club Bordeaux, so long as you will grant us some geographical leeway and overlook the roughly 600 km span between the two French cities.
The French club had Jones until 2020, but have granted him an early release that will see him return to the Super League Melbourne Rebels in 2019.
The interesting facet of the move is that Jones will earn immediate eligibility to play for the Wallabies, which for the cynical, means that he will be in line to be one of the unlucky losers when the All Blacks go on the ground on the other side.
Jones has three Wallabies’ Test caps from 2014. He was also playing in Australia as recently as a year ago, when he turned out for the Barbarians in an unofficial Test against the Wallabies in October of 2017.
It would seem as though Jones never completely turned his back on Australian rugby, but the deep pockets of the French league lured him, as it has many before him and will with many to follow – Bonus Bets.
The French club parted ways with Jones somewhat reluctantly and according to Jones himself, “I was put under some serious pressure to stay (in Bordeaux) because they’re happy with my playing and I’m enjoying my time there.”
He also expressed gratitude that Bordeaux did not hamper his departure. “They were pretty keen to wrap it up pretty quickly,” he said. “If Australia came knocking, I think Bordeaux would understand if I wanted to go back.”
Barbarians’ Coach Alan Jones went out on a limb saying that Luke Jones could be a valuable asset in a matchup against All Blacks duo Same Whitelock and Brodie Retalllick.
Alan Jones, in a recent column for The Australian, said, “A not irrelevant question is asked: why don’t we produce Whitelocks and Retallicks?”
That hypothetical query came on the heels of the Bledisloe I shellacking the Wallabies received from the All Blacks.