Ex-Harlequins prop Ceri Jones takes charge of 'sleeping giant' RGC
Ex-Wales front-rower Ceri Jones has been unveiled as the new head coach of Rygbi Gogledd Cymru (RGC), the regional representative team for the North Wales rugby development region. The appointment of the 45-year-old comes after working as an assistant at Worcester and Dragons following a lengthy player career at Harlequins during which time he won two Wales caps in 2007.
Jones, who will be in situ at Parc Eirias for the RGC friendly against Caldy on Friday, said: “I’m delighted to be here and can’t wait to get working with the lads on a full-time basis. RGC is a sleeping giant – a huge area with an increasing number of people participating in rugby. When you combine that with the amazing facilities available at Parc Eirias, then you are talking about a fully-fledged rugby region in all but name.
“I have had the opportunity to see the players train and there is some great talent on show. It’s a young squad and I’ll be aiming to develop them and strengthening the pathway so that more players can come through the academy programme and go on to represent RGC, Wales age-grade teams and the Wales national team.”
Having begun his playing career in Newport, Jones made over 230 appearances for Harlequins before an achilles injury ended his career at Worcester where he went on to commence his coaching career, taking care of the Warriors scrum before switching to become forwards coach at Dragons where he even had a spell as interim head coach.
RGC general manager Alun Pritchard added: “Ceri’s experience speaks for itself having played at the highest level for a number of years and then also coaching at top clubs such as Worcester and Dragons. He complements our existing coaching team and I look forward to working closely with him, developing RGC and continuing our upwards trajectory”.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 2, 2021
WRU head of participation Geraint John said: “The role is to support the academy in North Wales and RGC and to help develop players from the age of 16 upwards in our regional academy programme. The appointment also ensures there will be an alignment as Ceri will also be the head coach of the RGC team – many of the players are not only involved in our academy programme but are also involved in the playing side for RGC.
“North Wales is part of our development region for the Welsh Rugby Union – strategically it’s our aim to support and grow the game in North Wales on and off the field. We’re fortunate someone of the calibre of Ceri is following in the footsteps of the likes of Phil Davies and Mark Jones.
“Ceri has a proven record of developing players at the Dragons and Worcester and now his knowledge of right across North Wales hopefully will help to attract players and make them better and his appointment is also good for coaches in the future as well. He is also someone who knows the Premiership, knows the clubs in the division and has had success in the past with Ebbw Vale.”
With van der Merwe and Sutherland already signed, Jonathan Thomas has bolstered his Worcester staff by recruiting a third member of Warren Gatland's Lions tour party https://t.co/JCCWuuHcoX
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 26, 2021
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