Huw Jones: I want to make myself undroppable
A year-and-a-half ago centre Huw Jones had the world at his feet, and two despairing England defenders wrapped in vain around his ankles, as his stunning showing in a famous Calcutta Cup victory saw his already fast-burning star reach its zenith.
It was the high point of a stunning introduction to Test rugby and saw him race to a remarkable ten tries in 14 caps.
A further seven appearances have been added, but no tries, as the Edinburgh-born, England-raised, South Africa-nurtured 25-year-old’s career has suffered a bit of a wobble.
Injuries have been picked up and a move from Cape Town-based Western Province and Stormers to Glasgow Warriors in late 2017 has simply failed to take off, with a marked drop off in performance from country to club. A situation he says he is determined to reverse and make himself “undroppable”.
Jones fought back from his latest injury setback to regain fitness at the back end of last season but was simply not considered for selection in the latter stages of the Warriors’ run to the Guinness Pro14 final.
“Last season was pretty frustrating. I was in-and-out with Glasgow, and I had a couple of injuries,” said Jones at Scotland’s Oriam training base in Edinburgh.
“I went into the Six Nations thinking it was going to be a good chance to get a few games under my belt, then did my knee in the second game [against Ireland], which was pretty tough, and then I didn’t really play very much after that.
“So, I’d definitely say last season was frustrating. I’m a lot happier now in pre-season – I’m feeling fit again and the knee is fine. I’m just looking forward to these [World Cup warm-up] games and hopefully staying fit.”
Jones admitted the slump was tough to take after enjoying such a dream run, impressing in almost every appearance for Scotland since his first cap under Vern Cotter against Japan in Tokyo on the 2016 summer tour.
“My career shot up from nothing really quickly and it was all going really well, and then a few injuries and having a bit of a tough time with Glasgow brought me back down to earth,” he continued. “But I think the experience has made me better as a player. It has been frustrating, but I’ve improved as a result.