A whole lot has changed for Josh Jones since his final appearance in the Super League Grand Final.
Its five years since he was a part of the St Helens team that defeated Wigan Warriors 14-6 against if current facet Salford Red Devils step out on the pitch the team hell now line up, in Old Trafford.
The change has been shifting out of the backs to the forward, although jones feels older and wiser too, and of course having had a bout playing rugby union for Exeter Chiefs.
The 26-year-old has got the transition from centre since joining Salford at 2016, something which arrived at the proposal of head trainer Ian Watson.
When I return to Salford, Watto said did I want to play in the rear , Jones told Sky Sports. I like getting in the middle, I like defending, I like attacking, I enjoy playing off the half and now been involved a bit more.
Since then, I have right into it and luckily I have had a excellent year this year – and hopefully its not finished yet.
I dont need to be quick to perform back row either, which is terrific! I will only rely on my power and my footwork.
The fact underlines the threat he poses in the forward only 3 players have created yards compared to the 3,383 Jones has racked up from 461 carries this season – one of these being team-mate Jackson Hastings.
Its no surprise to Jones that the Red Devils half-back that is inspirational maintained the 2019 Man of Steel award, hailing his performances to the team but also for assisting the prior Blackbrook amateur bring his game on too.
Hes brought my match on leaps and bounds and thats why he won Man of Steel, since he has been the best player in the league annually – and it is shown, Jones explained.
He has brought more of the pleasure variable back for me. Were great mates on the field and off it, and out of everybody that I spend more time with him and Joey Lussick off the field – with the way we perform on the field, and that has been duplicated.
Hes created my stats go through the roof and I have never worked so hard in a game because of him! But hes a fantastic player and bloke, and when theres anyone to become a talisman for your club it is him.
Jones performances have captured the attention of Great Britain head coach Wayne Bennett with the row being termed as the only Salford player in the operation group for the upcoming winter tour.
The opportunity of being on the airplane for your first Lions tour for more than a decade has meant some disruption to plans, particularly having to put back because of getting married the day following this weeks Grand Final, his honeymoon.
But its a sacrifice Jones is happy to create if it means being part of the group to face New Zealand Tonga and Papua New Guinea.
Ive got a very busy week, Jones explained. I have a Grand Final Saturday, get married on Sunday and then, when I get about the tour, I fly out with them on Wednesday.
The honeymoon programs are long gone, but we can go any moment. Playing for Great Britain only comes around once in a lifetime, therefore I could not pass up that opportunity.
I had the old Great Britain replica shirt, so that is sort of my final memory of it and to wear that top could make me proud of myself and my family would be proud of me too
The Grand Final is the one thing about Jones mind at present and itll mark the final match at a Red Devils shirt to him personally before he joins Super League rivals next season to Hull FC.
Nevertheless, its a strange twist of fate he finds himself enjoying from the club he won the Grand Final with – something which is not lost on Jones on one of the most significant phases of rugby league in his final game for Salford.
It is almost written in the stars, isnt it? What a way to bow out, Jones explained. I enjoy playing against Saints and now I always have done since Ive been at Salford.
If we can do the way we understand we can then well undoubtedly have a chance of winning
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