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Wales fly-half Stephen Jones committed to Scarlets

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Fly-half Jones enjoys Scarlets life

British and Irish Lions fly-half Stephen Jones wants the rest of his playing career with Llanelli Scarlets.

The Wales star, 32, has been associated with his home club since his debut in 1996 and is in his second spell at the Scarlets after two years in France.

Jones has been linked with a move away as he is out of contract in 2011.

But Jones told BBC Sport: "I don't know how many playing days I've got left in me, but there's more than a good chance they'll be at Parc y Scarlets!"

Jones is a talismanic figure at the Scarlets as the experienced number 10, arguably the best fly-half in the northern hemisphere, is helping guide his young team through a transitional period.

The Scarlets' leading points-scorer and Wales' double Grand Slam winner has been linked with a big-money return to France, where he spent two seasons with Clermont Auvergne between 2004 and 2006.

In recent season the Scarlets, Welsh club rugby's traditional flag-bearers in Europe, have struggled.

And the west Walians currently sit second from bottom in this season's Magners League table and are unlikely to get beyond the Heineken Cup pool stage.

I'd like to be part of the Wales squad that goes to the 2011 World Cup

Scarlets fly-half Stephen Jones

But Jones has huge emotional ties with the Scarlets, where he graduated through Llanelli's youth system, has committed his future to the Parc y Scarlets region.

"They way I look at things at the moment is 'OK, we're in transition'.

"We've got good youngsters who want to be successful with a good work ethic, they make the working week enjoyable."

Welsh rivals Cardiff Blues have been linked with Jones, with Dai Young's side on the look out for a top-quality international fly-half.

The Blues have recently announced the signing of Scotland stand-off Dan Parks for next season, solving that problem, but Jones laughs off the speculation that linked him with the Blues.

"It was never a possibility. I haven't been in contact with the Blues, I haven't spoken to Dai Young," said Jones.

Jones says he is enjoying his rugby with the Scarlets despite the lacklustre results on the pitch and says there is plenty of optimism for the future.

"The club have been very good to me the way they've managed me, especially in the period where I came back from the Lions," added Jones, who started all three Tests in the 2-1 series loss in South Africa last summer.

606: DEBATE

"They realise I'm a bit older now, a few more miles on the clock, so the club are good to me in the way they construct my working week."

Jones says he has not set any definite date to end his professional rugby career but says he wants to play on until at least the end of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

"I'd like to be part of the Wales squad that goes to the World Cup, I'll do everything to try and stay as fit as I can," stated Jones.

"I'll try and prepare and train smartly to obtain that. That would be my goal and that's what I'd like to get to.

"I'd have to assess things then, but obviously I'd be a lot older. I will see how the body is and more importantly the mind - if I'm enjoying it I might look to play on, it's all about enjoyment."



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see also
Davies calls for regions rethink
10 Jan 10 |  Welsh
Jones injury is minor - Scarlets
04 Jan 10 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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