FORMER Glasgow winger Lee Jones has been included in the Scotland Sevens squad for the 2022 season along with some of the stand-out performers from the recent Super6 campaign.
Now 33, Jones was freed by the Warriors in the summer, but his substantial experience at both sevens and 15s should prove invaluable to Scotland coach Ciaran Beattie, whose squad are returning as an independent entity after being subsumed into Team GB this year.
“It’s probably always been in the back of the mind throughout my career that if there was ever a chance to get back and play a bit of sevens, that would be a choice I would make,” said Jones, who is now in with a chance of competing at a fourth consecutive Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next summer, as well as possibly taking part in the Sevens World Cup. “As soon as Ciaran offered the opportunity, the first thing I’m thinking is ‘Yes, 100 per cent’.
“I’d had a few conversations with some different folks and came to the conclusion that it was a really good fit for me. I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer the game. I wanted to play for at least another year, and for this opportunity to come up in what is a massive year for sevens – I want to grasp it with both hands. I’m delighted to get back into a sevens programme and get going.
“The Commonwealth Games is in Birmingham this coming season and you could argue it’s a home games for Scotland, for the home nations. The opportunity to potentially go there and compete is a big driver for me.
“In 2010 I’d just signed for Edinburgh, so it was right at the start of my career. It seems like a long time ago, but the game has maybe not changed that much.”
Beattie’s squad also includes Alec Coombes and Ross McCann, who represented Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics, and Jamie Farndale and Paddy Kelly, who are on Team GB duty in this week’s Dubai event. The Super6 contingent includes Boroughmuir Bears duo Kaleem Barreto and Jordan Edmunds, Matt Davidson of Ayrshire Bulls, Harvey Elms from Watsonians and Callum Young of Heriot’s. Femi Sofolarin will combine studying at Newcastle University with his playing duties, and Gavin Lowe will be out to improve on a points tally of 566 which already has him at fourth in Scotland’s list of all-time top scorers.
Scotland Sevens core squad for 2022 (number of HSBC World Sevens Series events in brackets): Kaleem Barreto (2), Alec Coombes (16), Matt Davidson (0), Jordan Edmunds (0), Harvey Elms (21), Jamie Farndale (43), Lee Jones (25), Paddy Kelly (4), Gavin Lowe (40), Ross McCann (16), Femi Sofolarin (3), Callum Young (1).