Jones returning to Scarlets from Wasps

Date published: January 12 2015

Wasps backs coach Stephen Jones will leave the English club to take up a similar role at his former region, the Scarlets, in Wales next season.

Both Wasps and Scarlets have confirmed the move with the Welsh side also announcing that current attack coach Mark Jones will move on from his role after 15 years at the club.

Former Wales fly-half Stephen Jones joined Wasps from the Scarlets in 2012, as Wasps’ first-choice 10, and went on to make a successful transition to coaching the following season.

“I have enjoyed every minute of my time here at Wasps, first as a player and secondly while I have cut my teeth in a coaching career in such a great league,” said the former British and Irish Lion.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Wales and back to the Scarlets where it all began for me.

“I’m grateful to Dai and all at Wasps for giving me an opportunity to start my coaching career and am relishing the exciting challenges still ahead of us in the Aviva Premiership and in Europe this season. I’m looking forward to then heading back to West Wales and developing further at my home region.”

Carmarthen-born Jones, who made over 300 appearances for Llanelli and Scarlets over a 14 year period with the region, will join the Scarlets coaching team ahead of the 2015-16 season as Backs Coach.

Jones, Wales’ second highest point scorer, will make a welcome return to West Wales where he also has business interests away from rugby.

“It is great for the region to be able to welcome back Stephen who’ll join the coaching team ahead of the new season,” said Head Coach Wayne Pivac.

“A world-class player in his day Stephen has developed into an exciting coach and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back to the region to ply his trade as a young backs coach.

“Stephen brings with him a wealth of experience, maturity and commands respect and I’m looking forward to working with him. Having spent the majority of his playing career here in Llanelli and West Wales he has a true understanding of what it means to be a Scarlet that will undoubtedly have a positive effect on our young squad.”

Former Scarlets and Wales winger Mark Jones, who has given over 15 years service to the club and region as both player and coach will move on from his current role as Attack Coach at the end of the season.

As a player, Jones made 163 appearances for Llanelli RFC and the Scarlets over 12 seasons.

Commenting on the move career Scarlet Mark Jones said: “The Scarlets has been a huge part of my life and I’m thankful for the opportunities and experiences I’ve had over the years.

“I’d like to thank the players that I’ve worked alongside over the years, as both a player and a coach and particularly owe my thanks to Gareth (Jenkins) and Nigel (Davies) who allowed me to play for, captain and coach the club. There are a countless number of backroom staff to thank who’ve shared this journey with me over the years, too many to name, but have all played their part in some way.

“There have been a number of highlights over the years. As a player I’d have to say that the Heineken Cup journeys – and getting so close on a few occasions – ranks highly and were extremely enjoyable moments in my career.

“As a coach it has been an honour and a privilege to play my part in helping develop players and see them achieve their dreams of playing for Wales and even the British & Irish Lions. I’d like to wish the players all the very best in their careers from now on; the Scarlets are in safe hands with the continuous development of young talented local players.”