Jones welcoming new faces to Scotstoun
“It’s important that we as players drive the club’s culture.”
After 82 appearances in a Glasgow Warriors jersey and 10 Scotland caps to his name, Lee Jones has his fair share of experience to pass on to the summer arrivals at Scotstoun. With a Rugby World Cup on the horizon and 19 of Dave Rennie’s squad battling to join Niko Matawalu and Mesu Dolokoto at this autumn’s tournament, however, it’s fair to say there are a few more new faces than your average pre-season.
“It’s a bit of a different squad we’ve got training at the moment,” said Jones.
“We’ve got a lot of academy boys and 7s guys training with us, so it’s been good to get to know everyone.
“The first block of pre-season was really good for us – it might be a slightly different squad in terms of the boys that are here, but everyone’s fitted in really well and worked hard. Coming back after a bit of a break now means that everyone’s had a bit of a rest and they’re ready to go again.”
The Selkirk-born winger has also had to get used to a slight shift in the squad’s balance over the summer; at 31, Jones is one of the elder statesmen of the group currently preparing for the pre-season double-header with Ulster. The man himself sees age as just a number though, instead focusing on helping to impress the club’s values on his new team-mates.
“You look around and see a lot of young guys, which does make you feel a bit older sometimes,” laughed Jones.
“Jamie Dobie makes everyone feel old!
“They’ve all done really well though. Our role, as the experienced heads, is to show them how the club operates and what’s expected of them when they represent Glasgow.
“That’s not just on the pitch – we haven’t played a game yet this season, but it’s about setting our standards whether that’s in training, in the gym or around the club and the city.
“It’s about getting it right as an environment first and foremost.”
Rennie’s men will get their first hit-out of the season in just a fortnight’s time as they travel to Belfast to take on Ulster, before welcoming their Guinness PRO14 rivals to Scotstoun for The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge seven days later. It’s a double-header that can’t come quickly enough for Jones and his fellow Warriors.
“Everyone’s excited to get going,” said the winger.
“There’s been a real focus on basic skills and stripping everything right back, but now we’re starting to work on more of our game shape and structures.
“It’s getting more game-focused and everyone’s ready to get started.”