Luke Jones will take Melbourne over Sydney any day.
The Melbourne Rebels forward grew up in the harbour city but the Victorian capital won his heart soon after he moved to the Rebels and has held that place ever since.
Jones spent the early years of his rugby career at the Rebels, playing 72 games and making his debut for the Wallabies before moving to France for two years.
Melbourne was where he returned once he ended his European stay last year.
Now 28 and with a wife and family, Jones returned a much rounder rugby player and it has shown as he has been among the Rebels' most consistent players this season.
On Saturday night he will lead the Rebels to his home town for a top-of-the-Australian-conference showdown against the Waratahs at the SCG.
"It has not been challenging, it has been amazing to be back in Melbourne," Jones said.
"I love it. I love Melbourne. I'm from Sydney but when I got to Melbourne I really found my feet and it has got so much to offer."
When he left Jones was seen as more of a lock due his height and Melbourne's needs in that position.
"I maybe played a bit more [as a flanker] because before I left there was so much competition in the backrow [flanker] at the Rebels but there wasn't many second-rowers [locks] floating around," Jones said.
"I even had to play tight-head lock which was hell but I don't mind No.4 [lock] or No.6 [flanker]; I would prefer six but I'm always happy to help in any way.
"Dave Wessels and I had a conversation when I was signing about what I preferred and he said six or four fit for him."
This season his best play has come as a flanker in a Melbourne side who sit on top of the Australian conference standings.
Some commentators list him as a potential squad member for the Rugby World Cup later this year although he has learned that means little until the Wallabies coaches have the same view.
"It's great to show the Wallabies I can play both roles but I'm fully worried about what I can do here," Jones said.
"If it does happen afterwards then I'll worry about that – I don't look ahead, I focus on the now."
The Rebels 5-3 (win-loss) also sit at the top of the Australian conference although whether they are favourites for the conference will be decided by whether they can beat the Waratahs (3-4).
"This is a very important match for us," JoRead More – Source