Luke Jones has found a home in Melbourne but he will farewell his adopted city this weekend, in his final match at AAMI Park.
Jones is set to join Wallabies veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper at Bordeaux after the Super Rugby season, leaving prop Laurie Weeks as the only remaining foundation Rebel
While there are three rounds left in the regular season, this Saturday’s clash will be his last hurrah at AAMI Park, though he hasn’t ruled out a possible return to Australia.
“I’m looking at it with open eyes, just to see what happens,” he said.
“Take it for what it is. If it's great, I could potentially stay longer, but I mean I can't predict the future.
“I'll just take it year by year and see where I end up.”
Brother-in-law Mark Chisholm, who played in France for five seasons, was a good sounding board for Jones, as he weighed up a move to Europe.
The 25-year-old has played most of his career at the Rebels to this point and said it was a bit surreal to think his days left at the club were dwindling.
“I think it's gone way too quick,” he said.
“Looking back on all the time I've had here, so many guys come and gone and it's funny to think there's only Laurie and me left.”
When he first came to AAMI Park, Jones was among plenty of imported veterans, who didn’t waste time in initiating him into the professional environment.
“In the first couple of years we had a lot of old guys at the club and I learned a fair bit off them, copped a fair bit off them, which made it tough but enjoyable,” he said.
“Coming through the years, there’s been a lot of new faces and a lot of guys have stuck around for a three or four year period.”
Jones said those relationships were the hardest thing to leave behind.
“You become really good friends with those guys and that's what makes it tough to leave,” he said.
“I guess you've gone through some stuff with them, we've had some tough games together, we've dug ourselves out of a few holes.
“You become better friends and you build up a rapport with the guys that you just don't get in other workplaces.”
Wherever his rugby career takes him, Jones said Melbourne would always be home.
“I met my wife here and will be, post-rugby, moving back here.
“I love it, think it's definitely my favourite city in the world.”