Huw Jones admits he thought his Scotland career was over when he was struggling to be selected for squads and he’s now determined to make up for lost time by getting as much game time as possible.

Jones missed the 2022 Six Nations after a difficult end to life in Glasgow first time around and he revealed that a lack of contact while he was out of the picture had him wondering if there was anything he could do to earn his place back in Gregor Townsend’s squad. He has managed it and was part of the World Cup squad last year, having missed out on the 2019 tournament and he’s expected to have a big role to play in this year’s Six Nations.

And while the versatile back admits he is keen to play in his preferred position of centre at No 13, Jones is happy to play anywhere to ensure he’s pulling on the Scotland shirt. Townsend will name his team to face Wales today (Thursday) and Jones will be hopeful of a starting spot whether that is at centre, on the wing or even covering at full back having also played in that role.

But it’s not always been easy to imagine a time he would be back as a regular for Scotland admits that at times during his international wilderness he had no idea if he would be involved again.

He said: “If I’m honest, there were times when I definitely thought that I had played my last game for Scotland.

“I got to a point where I wasn’t really getting much communication. It seemed like there was nothing I could really do to get back into the squad.

“All it is, really, is just a run of games and a bit of form. But yeah, there was certainly a time when I had left Glasgow and was down at Quins when I thought that was it for me.

“I think it was the Six Nations I didn’t get selected for. I thought: ‘Well, that’s probably it for me’.

“Coming back to Glasgow definitely helped me, to get back playing and back playing well with other Scottish players.

“It’s great to be back. I am really enjoying it and I do feel really grateful that it wasn’t finished for me a couple of years ago.

“Being on the wing, I didn’t mind it too much. But obviously 13 is my preferred position. Getting back in there and having a good game was good for the confidence.

“Getting back in there with Sione and to connect was good. It came at the right time. We train week in, week out, regardless of what position I’m playing.

“But when you play together in a game and you execute, it does help. Injuries can happen at any time. Having that versatility is good and has good for me in the past.

“I don’t really mind where I play. Obviously I think 13 is my best position, but I’ll play anywhere.

“I would rather be on the field than not. If my job is to play on the wing or at full-back, I’m happy to do it.”

Part of the criticism aimed at Jones was that he wasn’t as strong defensively as other options for the position and he heaped praise on Steve Tandy for helping him develop that side of the game, because he is naturally more attacking.

He’s worked hard on that part of his game and it has improved to help him earn praise in his role at centre but he also believes it has come with experience and game time and he’s keen to show it, starting with Wales on Saturday night.

He added: “Looks, there’s no hiding from the fact that I’ve made defensive errors in games. It’s certainly been a focus point because it was something that was highlighted by coaches who said it was something that needed to improve so I’ve obviously had to go away and work on that.

“I think having learnt a lot more about the game from different coaches, from different players, and the way I see pictures developing in front of me, I’ve got a lot better at that.

“In the beginning I probably hadn’t played enough professional rugby to experience that sort of pressure in those highly pressured defensive situations where you can get exposed pretty quickly. But I’m a little bit older now, I’ve played a lot more games, I’ve trained with good players and the coaching… Steve Tandy has been absolutely brilliant, across the squad and with me personally. I now see those pictures and I’m able to read things a lot better. I’m able to use my physicality in the tackle more effectively.

“I’m naturally more of an attacking player, and that came across in professional rugby. In terms of defence, you can get tested there and you can get exposed there. It was definitely something I had to learn more and work hard at because it didn’t come to me as naturally as attacking did at a young age.

“With experience and age and playing a lot of games you’re going to learn. With the coaching I’ve had, at Glasgow, down at Quins and with Scotland, it’s really helped me.”