Jones: “This is the best side I have played in”

He was one of the highest-profile captures for the new season, as Hull FC made sweeping changes to a squad that was seen, with all due respect, as being past its best.

Former St. Helens forward Josh Jones, a Grand Final winner in 2014, before the heartbreak of defeat in the Old Trafford showpiece with Salford Red Devils last year, believes he’s on the brink of an exciting season with his new club, having chosen East Yorkshire over a return to the Champions.

So how has he settled into his new surroundings?

“Really well actually, everyone’s been really friendly.

“I’m enjoying the city, the fish and the meat man have really looked after me, the club and everything around it, it’s been really nice.”

Having joined a club that missed the play offs last year, does the start of this season at his new club, feel a bit like it did at Salford last year?

“In a way, I suppose it does, but not really.

“They’re very different clubs, the pressure on you, and what’s expected of you, that’s different. But in terms of the results, that’s probably similar.

“But I can’t wait for the season to start, Adam’s obviously made some great signings, obviously there’s some great boys coming back in and coming in, I can’t wait to get started.”

 

Josh Jones joins Hull FC, having just helped Salford Red Devils to the Super League Grand Final. Credit: News Images

Having toured with Jake Connor on the GB tour down under, did his new teammate have much to say about the club?

“Yes, it’s probably about the first time I’ve been around Jake.

“I’ve not really known him from a social point of view, but he was great, me, him and Jermaine McGillvary got on really well, so yeah, it’s nice to speak to him and get to know him a bit.

“I know obviously, he’s on the other side of the field to me, but with him being the number six now, hopefully we’ll link up, so yeah I’m excited.”

One of the other big-name arrivals at the KCOM Stadium is his new back row partner Manu Ma’u, what has he made of the Tongan Terminator so far?

“He’s a very scary looking bloke.

“He looks like he wants to rip my head off most of the time, but he’s a really nice bloke, I’ve got on really well with him, he’s a great bloke, really friendly, really chatty.

“He’s got great experience to bring over, he’s really good in training, really professional, so yeah I can’t wait to pull on the Hull shirt with him in round one.”

Having won a Grand Final in 2014, does this new club for him have the same feeling as that Saints side?

“I would say man for man, this is probably the most talented side I’ve ever been in.

“In terms of man for man talent, this is probably the best I’ve ever seen, so it’s just getting all that talent into working hard and all that team bonding on the field.

“All the talent won’t win you a cup, or the Super League, all the hard work and all the boring stuff part of the game, that’s what’s going to win us the trophies, and get us to where we want to be.

“There’s a lot of hard work still to go, but I’m really confident that we can have a really successful year at that.”

Do Hull FC have to pick up silverware, for it to be counted as a successful season this year?

“To be fair, I wouldn’t look at it as that.

“I think we’ve set ourselves a realistic target of top two and definitely a final, two finals, Grand Final or Challenge Cup, I think those expectations aren’t beyond us.

“I definitely thinks it’s definitely doable, I think it’s a reasonable expectation for us, to set ourselves at, If, we get into the finals, on the day, it’s up in the air.

“The experience that Lee Radford and Adam Pearson have brought in, I’m definitely confident that we can win those finals, and the leadership group can really set us up and take us forward.”

Josh Jones won the 2014 Super League title with St Helens. Credit: Terry Donnelly/News Images

So, what made him choose Hull FC over several other offers? Including the much-publicised interest of his former club potentially wanting him back.

“Funnily enough a few years ago I was sat with Adam Pearson at the Man of Steel dinner, in the days when Shaun McRae and Peter Gentle were here.

“Since then, me and my wife have always thought, Adam seems like a really great person to work for, and a great bloke to form a relationship with.

“Having said that, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Hull, and so has my wife, the success, the history, it’s a great club and obviously the success in 2016 and 2017.

“They’ve always been a club that have been really nice to me, really positive to me when I’ve spoken to the people here and got great feedback.

“Obviously the recruitment helps as well, obviously the recruitment’s been great, it’s a really good squad around me, those are all the little bits I look for in a club.

“But there’s also the ambition, the club wants to win things, I could see it was just a fantastic club, that wants to win trophies, and if I can play my small part in that, I’ll be happy.”

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