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Having recovered from a fractured skull and blood clots in his lungs, Ben Jones-Bishop knows plenty about resilience. So he is fully prepared to bide his time and continue training on his own as he waits for a Super League opportunity for 2021.
The experienced 32-year-old turned down a new deal at Wakefield in search of a fresh challenge in 2021. But 10 weeks from the scheduled kick-off and despite interest from both the top flight and Championship, Jones-Bishop is still without a club.
It’s a position he’s comfortable with and one that has allowed him to focus on a property development business outside of sport. But the former Leeds, Harlequins and Salford winger does want another crack a Super League, having made an impressive return from his second blood clot issue at Trinity last season.
Jones-Bishop takes on Hull KR in Super League last season
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“I thought when I came back my performances showed I still have plenty to offer,” said Jones-Bishop, who first suffered the lungs complication at Leeds and then sustained a depressed fractured skull at Quins. “All through my career I don’t seem to have picked up strains, it’s only been the serious issues – but it’s part of the rollercoaster of sport.
“The last 18 months have been good for me mentally. After being out for a long time I had chance to reflect on things, and I wanted the opportunity for a new challenge and to see what was out there.
“We’ve spoken to some clubs in Super League and the Championship, and with the season getting pushed back everything is a bit up in the air and teams don’t really want to commit, which is understandable. But I’m not in a rush to take a low ball offer – I’m happy to keep fit on my own and be ready for any opportunity that comes along.”
Jones-Bishop, pictured tackling Niall Evalds, wants to represent Jamaica again at the World Cup
Jones-Bishop has another reason to return to the field this year – the chance to cement a place in the Jamaican side playing in their first World Cup this autumn, alongside younger brother Aaron.
Jones-Bishop added: “It’s a big part of it, wanting to be involved. It’s been a great journey over the last couple of years alongside my brother and others who have been on it for many years before that.
“There are two games in Leeds and there’s a big Caribbean community in West Yorkshire, so hopefully spectators will be back by then and it’ll be a vibrant atmosphere.
“The domestic game in Jamaica is getting stronger all the time, you can see that when the boys from there come over. They’re playing at a higher standard, and it would be great to be involved with them in a World Cup.”