Wife has Raider moving forward
IT HAS all the makings of the NRL's feel-good story for next year. Having given the game away and moved his young family to Perth, journeyman forward Scott Jones can thank his wife for a precious third chance to live his rugby league dream with the Canberra Raiders.
The powerfully built second-rower eagerly accepted an invitation from coach David Furner to join the Raiders for pre-season training after a strong season with feeder club Mounties in the NSW Cup.
That was despite making the sacrifice of leaving his wife Natalia and three-year-old daughter Amaiyah in Western Australia, after going six months without seeing them when he moved to Sydney to join the Mounties in April.
Since joining the Raiders, Jones has been away from his family for six weeks before returning for the Christmas break.
The 24-year-old's punt is paying off, having earned himself a spot in at least one of the Raiders' three trial games, with the prospect of a full-time contract.
Jones was about to begin a diesel fitter's apprenticeship in Perth before Natalia convinced the former Junior Kiwi train-on squad member to have one final go at making the NRL.
''My wife told me to have a crack at Mounties because I had nothing to lose,'' Jones said.
''It's always been a dream of mine to play first grade, and funnily enough I've found myself here in Canberra.
''I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and hopefully earn a contract.''
The Aucklander took a long road to the NRL since he was in the inaugural New Zealand Warriors Toyota Cup team in 2008.
Lack of opportunities forced Jones to weigh up his future, putting his family first and moving to Perth at the end of 2010.
Furner said Jones had taken his opportunity with both hands and would be given a chance to press his claims in opposed sessions and at least one trial game in the new year.