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Young Gun: Ben Jones – Wales U20s fly-half

Ben Jones is after game time in his first season at senior level and with three sides to play for he should not be in short supply of it.

The 18-year-old Cardiff Blues academy playmaker will be able to play for Merthyr in the Welsh Premiership while also having one more year at Wales U20s level.

Five weeks into his pre-season, Jones is settling into senior rugby but he is looking forward to friendly encounters against English opposition to show what he is about.

“It’s my first year at senior level so the first week of pre-season was pretty tough but I’m getting used to it,” he told The Rugby Paper.

“I’m contracted to the Blues and I’ll be training with them full-time this season but as a young fly-half I need to play as much as possible to gain experience. The coaches have the same vision so if I don’t get picked by the Blues I’ll be playing regularly for Merthyr in the Premiership.

“Pre-season has been going well so far with both the Blues and Merthyr so I’m very much looking forward to the start of the season.

“I’ve got my first game against Ealing Trailfinders with Merthyr this week and hopefully against London Scottish with the Blues next week. Hopefully I’ll get involved in both games and put my hand up for selection when the season starts.

“I’ve got another year at U20s level so I’d love to get involved with them again. I was really happy to start all five games in the Six Nations and end up as the top points scorer.

“The World Cup in Georgia didn’t go to plan unfortunately as we finished seventh so I’m hoping we can do better next season in Argentina.”

While at school, Jones managed to play for Pontypridd as well as making his Blues debut in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

A keen runner, he is never afraid to attack the line even if it quickly became apparent that senior rugby is another level in terms of physicality.

He added: “I really enjoy playing flat and attacking the line but I’ve learnt to take a step back since getting my first taste of senior rugby last season.

“I played for Pontypridd and we made it to the Cup final at the Millennium but I also got my debut for the Blues against Exeter.

“Italian international centre Michele Campagnaro ran straight at me which was a nice opener to my professional career. I got in front of him, hoped for the best, and managed to bring him down which was nice.

“I’m looking to put a bit of weight on being only 12st1lb. I’m 5ft9in so reaching 12st8lbs would be a good weight for me if I want to keep my attacking abilities.

“I need to work on my kicking game and making sure I stay square in attack if I want to be successful as a professional but it’ll only improve by playing and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

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