Rugby Union: Gloucester give Jones a two-year contract

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The Independent Online
ALLIED DUNBAR Premiership side Gloucester last night completed the signing of the former Wales captain Kingsley Jones.

Jones, who skippered Wales during their disastrous 96-13 defeat against world champions South Africa last summer, has agreed to a two-year contract.

The flanker moves from Welsh Premier Division side Ebbw Vale, who are in the midst of a cash crisis, and is set to make his Gloucester debut at Premiership rivals Sale on 12 December. Jones has won 10 Welsh caps, and he has made the move in an attempt to force his way back into the Wales squad.

Another Vale player and Welsh international, fly-half Byron Hayward, could also soon be on his way. Hayward has received offers from Llanelli and rugby league club Hull Sharks, who are reported to have tempted him with a three-year deal worth pounds 180,000.

Pontypridd have delayed naming their side for today's Welsh Premier Division clash against Neath at Sardis Road because of a number of injury problems. The Wales flanker, Martyn Williams, is definitely out of the reckoning after suffering an ankle injury during last Saturday's international against Argentina.

Williams has had a scan that showed slight ligament damage and Pontypridd have decided to rest him in the hope that he will be fit to face the league leaders, Llanelli, at Stradey Park next week. Neath have their own injury worries with their scrum-half and captain Patrick Horgan (ankle) and flanker Brett Sinkinson (fractured cheek-bone) ruled out. Shane Williams takes over from Horgan while Dale Jones comes into the back row.

Llanelli, who top the table by two points, are also waiting until just before kick-off before announcing their side to travel to Aberavon who are bottom of the pack with only one point to show for their efforts. The Scarlets intend to give the Wales No 8, Scott Quinnell, as much time as possible to recover from a groin strain.

Aberavon have included the former Great Britain rugby league international, Garry Schofield, in the centre as they seek to end a run of six straight defeats.

Bridgend will be without scrum-half Steve Wake for the visit of Newport as Cardiff have recalled him from his loan period because of a knee injury suffered by Robert Howley. Howley is to have a minor operation that will put him out of action for about three weeks.