Wales international tighthead Adam Jones appears to have found a new region with PRO12 side Cardiff Blues signing the prop.
Wales international Adam Jones has found a new home with Cardiff Blues signing the veteran tighthead prop.
The long-time Ospreys front-row has been without a team since the end of last season, when his contract with the Liberty Stadium outfit ran out.
A number of clubs had been linked with him, including English pair Bristol and Sale Sharks, and Top 14 big-spenders Lyon and Toulon.
However the Blues have released a picture of their squad for the new season, with Jones in the front-row, and the Ospreys have since confirmed that he has left them for another region.
It remains to be seen the exact details of the move, with the Blues currently at odds with the Welsh Rugby Union over Wales skipper Sam Warburton, who is on a central contract.
In Cardiff, Jones will link up with Welsh front-row colleagues Gethin Jenkins and Matthew Rees, with whom he has won two Grand Slams, as well starting for the British and Irish Lions in 2009.
The Ospreys meanwhile, have expressed their disappointment at Jones' decision, having been in negotiations over a new deal since 2012.
Jones later explained in a statement with the Blues that the club's ambition going forward played a big part in his decision to join the region.
“This is about a new challenge for me,” he said.
“At this stage in my career I want a new environment and to really push myself.
“I've been really impressed by the set-up at Blues and the desire to achieve in the coming years under the leadership of Mark Hammett. It is that ambition and potential for the future that excites me about this move.
“Obviously I would like to thank everyone at the Ospreys – from the players and coaches to the wonderful supporters – who have been absolutely fantastic with me. I wish the region every success for the future.”
Blues new director of rugby Mark Hammett also welcomed the signing.
“Adam has joined the Blues determined to achieve something special with us,” he said.
“He is as hungry as ever for success and a very driven man.
“Adam wants to make a difference and that is exactly why we want him here. He will be great for the younger players to learn off and is a world class tight-head prop who will add considerably to the squad we are assembling.
“He will improve what we are doing and I'm thrilled he is now a Blue for this season.”