Jones seeking new South West challenge in rugby union

Josh Jones wants to leave St Helens with a Grand Final win to their name at the end of this season, before he heads off to other code.

Jones is joining rugby union outfit Exeter Chiefs, and admits that it may take some time to get used to the new sport, which he dabbled in at school.

He also wanted to face some new challenges away from his hometown and the club he has supported since boyhood.

Having relatives in the South West was also a crucial factor in him making the decision to jump codes.

“They’ll be into the season when I go down there, hopefully it’ll be after a Grand Final win,” he said.

“I’m probably going to have to play a few games on loan at Cornish Pirates just to get used to the game.

“I’ve not played it for such a long time now. It’ll be about getting back into the stride, and we’ll kick it on from there.

“I played a little bit at school, but it was nothing compared to the extent that I’ve played rugby league.

“But it’ll be a real tough transition for me, and I know that.

“Me and my partner are really excited to go down there, and I’m excited to start a fresh challenge.

“I’ve been at a great club for a long time, and it’s something personal to me that I need to do.

“It’s more of a life choice, I needed something new.

“I get on with my family great, there’s no need for me to move away, but I thought I might as well try and look for something else.

“I’ve got family down in Cornwall which is only 40 minutes away from Exeter, so that’s why Exeter was the ideal choice.”

As for the position he sees himself playing in rugby union, he, perhaps typically of rugby league players going to the 15-man code, is eyeing up a role in the midfield backs.

“I’ve envisioned myself as a ’12’ (inside centre),” he said.

“I think I’d really enjoy playing as a ’12’.

“That’s why I’ve been enjoying playing loose forward rather than centre at St Helens, because at 13 you get your hands on the ball, move around quite a bit and do a lot more work.

“More than you would do just playing centre, and all that 15 metre grid work.

“At loose forward you get to go over all the field, which is quite similar to what you do as a centre in rugby union, you get to go wherever you want.

“So that’s probably the position I see myself in, and I think that’s the position Exeter see me in.

“But over the next few years, you never know. I’m still quite a young lad, I’m only 22, so time will tell.”

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