Warriors X-Factor: Stacey Jones

New Zealand’s favourite son is back in the NRL. <br><br>The legendary Stacey Jones has returned with little to prove and the aim of helping the Warriors to a maiden premiership.<br><br>The return of Stacey brings a steadying hand to the Warriors and, for everyone else, that just may spell trouble.<br><br>The questions surrounding his comeback to the NRL are numerous. At the top of the list are: Why? Does he still have as much to offer at this stage of his career? <br><br>The answer to both lies in an opportunity he was given by the club when asked if he would consider joining the squad again. It wasn’t a decision Jones made lightly and in the end the competitor within him won out.<br><br>“I thought it over for a few weeks and I figure I’m still young enough to be able to play well and contribute to the team. I think six months down the track if I didn’t say yes then I would be kicking myself wondering what could have been.”<br><br>The response to Jones’ return has been interesting. Some people have knocked him, but most have embraced the return of a legend to the club he will forever be synonymous with as he embarks on what will most probably be the final leg of an illustrious 238 game and counting Warriors career.<br><br>“There have been a lot of people saying nice things about how they are looking forward to seeing me play again, but then there are others who say why is he doing it? But you always get a bit of that and take the good with the bad.”<br><br>Aside from wanting to test himself at the top level again Jones has been enjoying working with the young talent at the Warriors and giving them some coaching.<br><br>“That’s another part of my role at the club, to help the young guys out and it’s rewarding for me to help the kids coming through. We have a lot of young talent in the halves.”<br><br>While Jones has been busy preparing for a comeback many in league circles are planning on enjoying, he admits it hasn’t all been smooth sailing and is likely to miss the season opener against the Eels with a calf injury.<br><br>“The pre-season has been a bit up and down, I got through the first couple of trial games, but wasn’t able to play in the last one, which was a bit of a bummer.<br><br>“I’m in rehab at the moment and naturally I’m disappointed to miss the start of the season, but it is a long season.”<br><br>While it may seem to many that the Warriors are pinning their hopes on Jones it actually isn’t the case. New Zealand international and Warriors incumbent Nathan Fien is apparently the man of choice after leading the Kiwis to a historic World Cup victory and Jones is quick to point that out.<br><br>“Ivan hasn’t really given me a role but I expect Nathan Fien to be given the first shot at halfback given the way he played last year.”<br><br>With many people expecting big things from the Warriors this season, fans will be happy to know Jones thinks the club is a better place now than it was when he last played in 2005.<br><br>“There have been a lot of changes personnel wise, with a lot of young kids coming through into the side. Off the field in 2004 there was a lot of fighting, which was better in ‘05, but right now everyone is very calm and settled and the team is connecting with the community.” <br><br>