Stephen Jones (rugby player)

Stephen Jones (rugby player)

Stephen Jones
Full name Stephen Michael Jones
Date of birth (1977-12-08) 8 December 1977 (age 36)
Place of birth Aberystwyth, Wales
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 94 kg (14 st 11 lb)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fly-half
Inside centre
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1996–2003
2004–2006
2012–2013
Llanelli RFC
Clermont
London Wasps
197
43
1
(1786)
(566)
(23)
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2003–2004
2006–2012
Llanelli Scarlets
Scarlets
12
107
(146)
(918)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)





1998–2011
2005–2009
Wales U16
Wales U18
Wales U19
Wales U21
Wales Schools
Wales
British and Irish Lions





104
6





(917)
(53)
Coaching career
Years Club / team
2013– London Wasps (attack coach)
Rugby union career

Stephen Michael Jones (born 8 December 1977 ) is a Welsh former rugby union player who played primarily at fly-half for Wales, the British and Irish Lions.

At the end of the 2012–13 season, Jones retired from playing professional rugby and he is now a coach at London Wasps

Jones is the record cap holder for Wales and he is eleventh on the List of rugby union Test caps leaders. Jones is sixth in the List of leading Rugby union Test point scorers, and the second-highest Wales player on the list behind Neil Jenkins.

Club career

Llanelli RFC

Jones was born in Aberystwyth. He joined Llanelli RFC in 1996, staying there until the 2003–04 season. He played his last Welsh club season for the Llanelli Scarlets, the Llanelli side in the Welsh regional setup introduced that year. In his Welsh top-level career, he made more than 200 appearances and scored almost 2,000 points.

Clermont Auvergne

In 2004, he joined Clermont Auvergne, formerly known as Montferrand. He had a successful club career with Clermont and he was chosen by French journalists as the fly-half of the season in his second year at the club.

Scarlets

After two years at Clermont he returned to play for the Scarlets in 2006. Back in Llanelli, Jones and the team had an excellent run in the Heineken Cup in 2007 and reached the semi-finals after wins home and away against Ulster and Toulouse, and a comfortable home victory against 2006 winners Munster in the quarter-finals. The Scarlets ultimately came unstuck against Leicester in the semi-final.

Jones ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year contract with the Scarlets. He had been heavily linked with a move to French club Biarritz after triggering a clause in his contract allowing him to talk to other clubs.[1]

London Wasps

On 11 April 2012, it was announced that Jones would be leaving the Scarlets for a second time to join London Wasps at the end of the 2011–12 season. He agreed to a two-year contract that could see him move into a coaching role at the end of his playing career.[2] In January 2013 Jones announced that he would retire from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season and move into coaching with Wasps.[3]

Representative career

Wales

Jones made his international debut for Wales in 1998 against South Africa. He is the second highest points scorer for Wales.

Jones played a prominent role in Wales' grand slam triumph of 2005. As Welsh fly-half he scored the majority of the team's points, his best game being the victory in Paris in which he scored 14 points including a drop goal and made a searing 60-metre break which led to Martyn Williams' first try. In the championship decider against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium he scored another 16 points and steered Wales to their first Grand slam for 27 years. He was later named fly-half of the championship for 2005.

In October 2006 head coach Gareth Jenkins named Jones as captain to lead Wales through to the 2007 World Cup. On his appointment of Jones, Jenkins said "Stephen has all the attributes to make a magnificent captain of his country. He has the respect and regard of his players, leadership qualities that are evident for all to see and the talent and ability to lead from the front at game time".[4] Jenkins was to have a change of heart however, as Jones was replaced by Gareth Thomas as Welsh captain for the 2007 World Cup, as Jones was not assured of his place in the Welsh team due to the emergence of James Hook. In his 8 outings as Welsh captain, Jones skippered Wales to only 1 win with 6 defeats and 1 draw[5]

In the 2008 RBS Six Nations, Jones made four appearances in his second Grand Slam championship win with Wales. He scored seven conversions and ten penalties, adding up to 44 points, despite starting the tournament as second choice to James Hook.

In the 2009 RBS Six Nations, Jones made five appearances in the competition with Wales. An improvement to the previous year's competition he proved to be the in-form player, cementing his place as the first choice No. 10 for Wales.

Jones became the record cap holder for Wales on 26 September 2011 versus Namibia, overtaking the record of 100 caps set by Gareth Thomas.

Jones was selected as part of the 30-man Welsh squad for the Rugby World Cup 2011. He played his 103rd test against France in the semi-final which Wales lost, coming off the bench to replace James Hook in the 45th minute. His 104th cap came in the third-place play-off match against Australia on 21 October 2011.

British and Irish Lions

He was selected for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand. Having won the 2005 Six Nations Championship Grand Slam with Wales, Jones was the in-form fly-half but the head coach, Sir Clive Woodward, selected the barely match fit Jonny Wilkinson ahead of Jones. Many people in the rugby world saw this as the wrong decision and many believed that Wilkinson should not even have toured, let alone played, as at the time he had only recently recovered from a serious injury.

On 21 April 2009, Jones was named in the squad for the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa. During 2009, Jones cemented his place as Wales' first-choice number 10 and earned his place in the Lions squad.[6] He started every test match in the tour and broke the Lions record for most points scored against South Africa in the second test.

Personal life

Jones has a son, Seb Joseff Jones, who was born to his fiancée Gwen at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, on 8 July 2011.[7]

References

External links

  • Scarlets Profile
  • Wales Profile
  • Lions Profile

Template:Wales Squad 2011 Rugby World Cup