Barrow v Doncaster RLFC: Interview with Aaron Jones-Bishop ahead of play-off semi-final

Aaron Jones-Bishop
Aaron Jones-Bishop

Aaron Jones-Bishop's professionalism and dedication have earned him praise from team-mates and coaching staff alike.

Whereas many others in his position - travelling over to Doncaster several times a week for training without pay and little prospect of playing - would have sought pastures new, the 26-year-old remained loyal to the cause and played his part in helping the club reach the League One play-off semi-finals.

The younger brother of Super League star Ben Jones-Bishop found himself ‘out in the cold’ after playing on the wing in a couple of early-season games.

“I played a few games for the Hull FC second string (as part of the club’s dual-registration agreement) and also for Leeds amateurs Milford,” he recalled.

With the squad down to the bare bones, Jones-Bishop was recalled to the side for the home game against Hemel Stags and made an immediate impact.

“It was tough getting back up to the speed of the game when I first came back into the side but it helped having quality players around me,” he said.

“I was pleased how it went in that game because when there is a lot of competition in the position you play you’ve got to take your chance.

“Although I’ve played most of my rugby at Doncaster on the wing, I much prefer playing centre to be honest.

“I also enjoy playing in the second-row, as I did in the last Super 8s game against London Skolars, and I’d love to play loose-forward.

“I might not be the biggest second-rower at the club, but I enjoy the defensive side of the role.”

Jones-Bishop, who played for Oxford last season, also set up a try for centre Sam Doherty in the London game when supporting a break by full-back Tom Carr and getting a superb pass out of the tackle.

He hopes he did enough against the Skolars to retain his place in the side to take on Barrow in Sunday’s testing semi-final at Craven Park.

The Dons will go into the game as underdogs but having seen Rochdale surprise unbeaten Toulouse to secure their spot in next season’s Championship, Jones-Bishop is not about to write off their chances.

“Barrow are a very good side with a very strong pack but that doesn’t worry me,” he said.

It will be the first time in three meetings that the Dons will field their recognised half-back pairing and Jones-Bishop claims that could make a big difference.

“Jordan Howden is different class and combines very well with scrum-half Jordie Hedges," he said.