Banned Jones can still go for trials
HONG Kong's Ashley Jones was handed a three-week suspension yesterday - but will be back in time for the trials to pick the national team for December's two internationals against Taiwan.
The ban is back-dated to last Saturday, the day the Hong Kong Football Club prop forward was sent off for kneeing Valley's Tongan centre Isi Tu'ivai in a ruck.
Jones, who said it was the first time he was sent off in a 12-year playing career, will be back in action on November 13, the day Club take on Kowloon in a key First Division match.
The national trials are on November 15.
''If you had told me at the beginning of the season that I would be sent off, I would have laughed,'' said Jones.
''But the decision has been made by the disciplinary committee and I'm willing to live with it.'' The 26-year-old Australian prop, who has played for Eastern Brisbane, Queensland and Harlequins before arriving in the territory, will be a key player in Hong Kong coach George Simpkin's campaign for next year's Asian Rugby Football Tournament which serves as a 1995 World Cup qualifier.
Jones is the third player to be suspended this season, which is only a few weeks old.
This has raised the question of whether referees are sending off players instead of using the sin-bin option enough.
With Jones sidelined, Grant Jamieson, Rob Brewis and Mark Davies unavailable, the Club forwards will struggle today - as they have so far this season - in the Kowloon Carlsberg 10s.
Morgan Chubb, the Club coach, who is desperately looking for some sort of a success to boost his side's morale, will, however, be glad to see Justin Weston and Philippe Lacomp back in the side.
Weston will play at fullback while Lacomp slots in at fly-half.
The final of today's competition, at Tai Hang Tung, is scheduled for 5.40 pm.