Jones Explains his Decision...

British and Irish Lion Adam Jones explains the reasons for his move to Cardiff

Wales and Lions prop Adam Jones announced his decision to move regions from the Ospreys to Cardiff Blues on Tuesday and, today, the big forward has explained his reasons for doing so with an open letter to the Ospreys supporters.

The now 33-year-old admits that he “couldn’t wait forever” for his playing future to be resolved, in a letter published by the South Wales Evening Post.

The tighthead prop, who has won exactly 100 caps for Wales, found himself out of work since his Ospreys contract expired at the end of last season.

Jones has since been training with his former club Neath, as any prospective new deal with the Ospreys hinged on a solution being found to the long-running and ongoing dispute over a fresh agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and Wales' four professional regions - Ospreys, Blues, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons.

"As pretty much the whole world and his wife will know by now, I had been waiting for a deal to be struck between the regions and the Welsh Rugby Union over a new participation agreement so the Ospreys could conclude a fresh contract with me," he said.

"I haven't been getting any money, but I was just hoping that the row that has blighted Welsh rugby for so long could be finally settled and I could pull on the black shirt again.

"Then on Sunday morning I received a call from the Blues asking whether I fancied a move there. I had to think long and hard about their proposal because I know all about regional rivalry and how much it matters in Wales.

"But my circumstances were such that I didn't feel I could turn Cardiff down. I haven't been paid for two months and the season is barely a fortnight away. I need to be properly attached to a team and training with a group of players in readiness for the new campaign.

"I couldn't wait forever. The contract with the Ospreys has been on the table since January, but without signatures it meant only so much.

"No-one is to blame. Andrew Hore (Ospreys chief executive) and Steve Tandy (head coach) have been straight down the line with me throughout the negotiations. They haven't messed me about and I don't think I have messed anyone about, either."

Jones, meanwhile, predicted a bright future for the Ospreys.

"They are going through a rebuilding phase, but with someone like Alun-Wyn (Jones) there - an immense presence in every respect - I still expect them to be pushing for a play-off place in the PRO12," he added.

"There are also a lot of young players at the region who are going to make Welsh rugby sit up and take notice in the years ahead.

"But a new chapter starts for me now, and I'm just glad I'll be able to focus on rugby again.

" Every player goes through bad times as well as good during his career, and the brilliant thing about Ospreys' supporters is that they have always been there for me when things haven't been going as well as I might have wanted.

"I will appreciate that for the rest of my career and beyond. It has been quality all the way."

However, the famed international prop has also looked ahead to his tenure with the Blues, today; hailing their “ambition and potential for the future” after being unveiled as their newest recruit.

"This is about a new challenge for me," Jones said.

"At this stage in my career I want a new environment and to really push myself.

"I've been really impressed by the set-up at the Blues and the desire to achieve in the coming years under the leadership of (director of rugby) Mark Hammett. It is that ambition and potential for the future that excites me about this move.

"Obviously, I would like to thank everyone at the Ospreys - from the players and coaches to the wonderful supporters - who have been absolutely fantastic with me. I wish the region every success for the future."

Hammett added: "Adam has joined the Blues determined to achieve something special with us. He is as hungry as ever for success and a very driven man.

"Adam wants to make a difference, and that is exactly why we want him here.

"He will be great for the younger players to learn off, and he is a world-class tighthead prop who will add considerably to the squad we are assembling."

Jones will now pack down in regional rugby with his Wales and Lions front-row colleagues Gethin Jenkins and Matthew Rees.

And Blues chairman Peter Thomas said: "Adam is one of the very best props in Europe, and when it became clear he was available we acted quickly, in conjunction with our director of rugby, to secure his services over the last 48 hours."

In a statement, the Ospreys said they had worked closely with Jones over a lengthy period in an attempt to reach a satisfactory outcome.

"Adam Jones has today advised Ospreys Rugby that he will not be re-signing and instead has signed a contract with another region," the Swansea-based region said.

"We are disappointed with this outcome, having worked closely with Adam over a period of many months to find a resolution to the situation that satisfied all parties.

"An initial contract offer that was unconditional on any Participation Agreement was made as far back as 2012, an offer that was declined by the player.

"A further unconditional offer was then made in October 2013, which was subsequently declined as he declared his interest in signing a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union.

"When the proposed central contract failed to materialise we re-entered negotiations and, in good faith, made a new contract offer to the player which was dependent on the terms of any new Participation Agreement which may be concluded.

"As has been widely reported, that offer still remains on the table.

"While we remain in a difficult situation in terms of no resolution to the Participation Agreement and not knowing our full revenue stream for 2014/15 and beyond, our financial forward planning allowed us to re-contract 16 players, as well as completing the signing of eight new players for the coming season.

"Unfortunately, with Adam rejecting unconditional offers that were made prior to the expiry of the previous Participation Agreement, the reduction in guaranteed income post-December 31 had a direct impact on our ability to re-contract, particularly with other player commitments already completed."