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Scotland star turns down 'tempting' French offer

NEWS: Scotland centre Huw Jones said he had been “tempted” by a possible move to France before deciding to continue his career with Glasgow.

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Jones was recently in the sights of French club Montpellier and the 30-year-old was also linked with a move to their Top 14 rivals Bayonne.

But Jones, in fine form for Scotland this Six Nations, ended the speculation over his future last week by signing a new two-year deal that will keep him at Glasgow until at least 2026.

But he said he had given serious thought to following the example of Scotland colleagues Blair Kinghorn and Ben White by playing in France.

“I’ve said in the past that I’d be open to a move to France, so, yeah, it was certainly tempting,” said Jones, speaking ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations match away to Italy on Saturday.

“Like you do with all big decisions, you’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons and all that and I think when it came down to it, it was a rugby decision,” explained Jones, whose partner is expecting their child at the start of April.

He added: “I thought it would be a shame to pass up what’s happening at Glasgow at the moment.

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“I think since [head coach] Franco [Smith] came in, since I came back to the club [from Harlequins in 2022], I’ve seen a real growth in the squad.

“The way we train, the way we play, I think we’re getting better and better. I think we’ve got a real momentum at the moment and I want to stay part of that.

“We’ve got a baby on the way in the next couple of weeks, we’re pretty settled in Glasgow, we’ve got loads of friends around and my family live just outside Edinburgh, so it’s nice to be staying put.”

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Jones will be without midfield partner Sione Tuipulotu for the remainder of the Six Nations after his Glasgow team-mate sustained a knee injury in the 30-21 win over England at Murrayfield last Saturday.

Bath’s Cameron Redpath is the favourite to line-up alongside Jones in Rome but Northampton’s Rory Hutchison and Glasgow’s Stafford McDowall could also take the field at the Stadio Olimpico.

“I think we’ve got great depth throughout the squad but definitely at centre,” said Jones.

“I’m gutted for my mate [Sione], but Cam, Hutch and Staff are all really good players.

“They’ve all played well this season and I think we’re blessed in that position right now.”

Scotland have won two out of their opening three matches in the Six Nations and but for an agonising home defeat by France, when they were denied what would have been a match-winning try with the last play of the game, would still be in contention for a Grand Slam.

As it is, Ireland are the only team now capable of a clean sweep and Scotland only have an outside chance of catching the tournament leaders with two rounds left to play.

“If Ireland take it [the title] out of our hands [by beating England on Saturday], so be it,” said Jones.

“We’ve got to focus on what we can control and this weekend we’ve got a massive game, Italy away.

“They’ll be up for it, they’ve improved.

“Last season was a close game against them and we were at home.

“They’re a threat to what we want to achieve so we’ve got to go there with the mindset of putting together our best performance of the Championship so far.”

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