Iron forges iron at Sixways
Although his versatility may have been to the detriment of a promising England career, Worcester Warriors' Chris Jones insists it is now paying dividends.
Although his positional versatility may have been to the detriment of a promising England career, Worcester Warriors' Chris Jones insists it is now paying dividends at Sixways.
Jones has started all but one of Worcester's Premiership matches this season and has played at flank, No.8 and more recently at lock.
And wearing the No.5 shirt is where the 32-year-old prefers to be, having starred there in the 12-3 victory over Saracens and the narrow defeat to Harlequins the following week.
The Warriors however are blessed with a competitive foursome of locks, with Craig Gillies, Dean Schofield and James Percival all capable of the job.
But it is that rivalry that Jones believes is pushing his side forward and helping them produce the sort of rugby that will help the club push forward instead of looking over their shoulders.
"I enjoyed it at back row at the start of the season and I'm happy to play there when I need to," said Jones.
"I can do a job at number eight and six but if you asked me my position, I would say I'm a lock.
"There is great competition between the four of us [Craig Gillies, Dean Schofield and James Percival] and we're all playing well so it's very beneficial for the team and we push each other.
"I'm happy to be starting when I can, but I'm also pleased that we've got depth in the squad.
"My aim is to keep that shirt all season - I want to make it my own."
Worcester however were dealt a serious setback last time out with defeat to basement boys Sale Sharks at the Salford City Stadium.
And with Premiership finalists Leicester Tigers next up Jones is hoping his side can build on their brave efforts at Welford Road earlier in the season when they scored 26 points.
"Leicester are a fantastic side and they've been one of the best for as long as I've been involved in rugby," he added.
"I think we've got a real point to prove because for a lot of the game at Welford Road, we were actually dominating and putting them under a lot of pressure.
"But they managed to get the win and that is the mark of a great side. They'll be up there at the end of the season but we would like to try and put a dent their title ambitions."