Former Wales wing joins Crusaders coaching pool

    2020-01-13 08:15
    Mark Jones and Phil Davies as Namibia's coaches du
    Mark Jones and Phil Davies as Namibia's coaches during the 2019 Rugby World Cup (Getty Images)

    Christchurch - Former Wales wing Mark Jones is heading south to join Super Rugby champions the Crusaders as their defence coach, the club announced on Monday.

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    It continues the Crusaders link with the northern hemisphere having employed former Ireland flyhalf Ronan O'Gara for the past two years.

    "We believe Mark is going to provide a real point of difference to the Crusaders, with his northern hemisphere skill set and extensive game knowledge," Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson said.

    The Crusaders are the most successful franchise in the Super Rugby competition, having made the final of the southern hemisphere club championship 14 times in its 24-year history, winning 10 titles including the last three in a row.

    The 40-year-old Jones, who was Warren Gatland's attack coach during Wales' 2013 Six Nations Grand Slam, will also be responsible for position-specific player development with the Crusaders.

    Jones played 12 years for Scarlets and was a Wales age-group representative before making his Test debut in 2001.

    He retired in 2010 with 47 caps to his name, attended the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and was a member of the 2008 Grand Slam Wales side.

    His most recent coaching appointment was as attack coach for Namibia at the World Cup in Japan last year.

    Jones said joining the Crusaders to "work alongside world-class coaches and players at Rugby Park, was too good to miss".

    His role also includes coaching alongside former All Blacks captain Reuben Thorne with the Crusaders' main feeder club, Canterbury, in the New Zealand provincial competition.

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