Jones ready for Leinster challenge
The anticipation in Huw Jones’ voice is evident as he looks ahead to tomorrow’s season opener at Scotstoun, with the visit of Leinster on Family Day a prospect the centre and his team-mates are relishing – to put it mildly.
Not since September 2015 have Glasgow Warriors opened the league campaign in front of the Warrior Nation, with a matchday 23 containing 14 internationals ready to kick-off the 2023/24 BKT United Rugby Championship campaign.
For Jones, who returns to Glasgow colours after representing Scotland at a Rugby World Cup for the first time in his career, it’s an opportunity for which he and his fellow Warriors simply cannot wait.
“It’s really exciting,” the centre told glasgowwarriors.org.
“It’s great to be back in the building – regardless of how the World Cup went, it’s been so good to come back and see everyone at Scotstoun and get back out on the field with them.
“We’ve all slotted back in pretty seamlessly, which is testament to what Franco [Smith, Head Coach] and the coaches are doing here. Training has been of a really high quality and we’re keen to get stuck into this weekend.
“Leinster are one of the powerhouses of the league really, and they’ve earned that reputation in recent years. They’re one of the top teams in Europe and it’s a fantastic challenge for us first up.
“It’s a really exciting prospect, because we don’t get a chance to open the season at home very often and you couldn’t have asked for a bigger game to kick things off. We took great strides forward last season and we’re really looking to kick on this year. We’re raring to go.”
A fellow Rugby World Cup returnee will celebrate a personal milestone in Glasgow Warriors colours tomorrow afternoon, with George Horne set to make his 100th appearance for the club if and when called upon from the replacements bench.
Jones was quick to pay tribute to the scrum-half, who joins elder brother Pete amongst the list of centurions, only the second pair of brothers in club history – after the Bullochs – to reach the milestone.
“It’s a huge achievement,” said Jones.
“George is one of the best players I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with, both for Glasgow and for Scotland. Everyone knows how quick he is and the lines he picks, and how many tries he scores, but he’s just an all-round competitor of the highest level. He’s actually probably the most competitive person I know!
“He never stops working, gives everything to the team and he’s probably the perfect team-mate. He’s fully deserving and hopefully he’s got another 100 more in him!”
The match will also have added significance for the Warrior Nation, as Scotstoun hosts its second-ever Family Day fixture tomorrow afternoon.
A host of family-friendly activities – including face painting, inflatables and the club’s new 2023/24 autograph book – will complement what promises to be a firecracker of a fixture on the field, as the Warriors draw upon their personal motivations ahead of Leinster’s arrival tomorrow afternoon.
“Family Day was one of our favourite occasions as a squad last season, for sure,” said Jones.
“For the guys who have kids to be able to run out alongside them, and for everyone to be able to celebrate and represent their families, it’s a huge deal.
“I’ve got my wife and my parents coming along, and it’ll be a great atmosphere. We pride ourselves on being a family-oriented club, and we like to feel like a family as a squad, so it’s going to be a fantastic day tomorrow.”