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Dwayne Peel's former Wales coach joins his Scarlets staff

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by Edward Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

Former Wales defence and forwards coach Leigh Jones has been named the Scarlets’ new rugby performance director.

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The appointment will see Jones reunite with head coach Dwayne Peel, having been part of the Wales coaching team under Graham Henry that handed the former scrum-half his first cap in 2001.

Since then, Jones has worked in a variety of environments, including being an assistant under Eddie Jones and a six-year stint with Hong Kong, where he served as head coach and then head of their Elite Rugby Programme.

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Most recently, the Welshman worked as Leicester Tigers’ general manager, leaving the role in 2023. Under his aegis, the Tigers won the Gallagher Premiership in 2022.

Scarlets have specified that Jones will work alongside Peel to “build and deliver a winning team based on a strong vision and performance culture.” The head coach will still, however, be in charge of matters on the field, as well as any transfers.

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“It is a privilege to join the Scarlets,” Jones said.

“It is a club with such a rich and successful heritage in rugby and one known and respected globally for developing some of Wales’ best players over the decades.

“The exciting part is there are more talented Scarlets players to come through in the future. I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping clear the runway to support Dwayne and his team to see this great club back where it belongs on the field.

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“My role at Scarlets will be very similar to my work with Leicester Tigers, where I was responsible for overall rugby operations, across pathways, analysis, medical, physical development, recruitment and women’s rugby working closely to support the Head Coach.

“At this point in my career, my focus and motivation is using my experience to help develop people – both coaches and rugby support staff, equipping and supporting them to be the best they can be and helping them reach their potential.

“I am excited and keen to get started and look forward to working with the coaches and players when pre-season starts in early July. It’s good to be working back in Welsh rugby at a time when there’s a lot of hard work ahead, important contributions to be made and significant challenges to face.”

Peel added: “Leigh has a depth and range of experience delivering world-class rugby performance programmes so he understands fully what it takes to build a winning team. We are looking forward to working closely with him and for the knowledge and experience he’ll bring to our rugby environment.

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“We are working hard on building a competitive squad, with exciting new players keen to make an impact joining us this summer plus we are retaining a group of key Scarlets leaders on the field and our best emerging talent. With Leigh’s appointment as well, there’s a lot to be excited and positive about as Scarlets ahead of a new season.”

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Tom 46 minutes ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

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