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Jones joins Wales coaching set up

Former Wales fly-half Stephen Jones will join tour head coach Robin McBryde for the two-Test summer tour to the Pacific Islands, alongside Cardiff Blues coaches Danny Wilson and Matt Sherratt.

Jones currently coaches the backs at the Scarlets and will join the trio in which the Welsh Rugby Union sees as a coaching development and succession planning tour.

“This is an important announcement that provides an opportunity to give three senior Regional coaches the chance to work in the international coaching environment, with a view to us both learning from them and adding to the personal development of each individual,” said Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips.

“We have a clear strategy in Welsh Rugby, with coaching and coach development a central priority at all levels of the game.

“It will be of tangible benefit to Welsh Rugby in the long term that, within a small window during their coaching careers, we are able to provide significant development opportunities to Danny, Matt and Stephen mirroring the opportunities given to Warren, Rob (with the British & Irish Lions) and Robin (as head coach).

“The intention is also that these appointments will further unite the key professional coaches in Wales, leading to even better relationships and sharing and alignment of coaching philosophy.

“We see this as the start of a push to work closely with the Regional coaches and very much intend to involve additional coaches in the years ahead as opportunities arise.”

Cardiff Blues head coach Wilson returned to the regional game in 2015 from Bristol having previously worked at both the Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons.

As Wales U20 head coach, Wilson led the age-grade side to a second (2013) and third (2012) place finish in the U20 World Championship’s.

Sherratt was part of Wales’ coaching team for the 2016 autumn internationals which saw Wales win three out of their four encounters – equalling their previous best run of results in an autumn campaign, in 2002 – and will link back up with the squad for the summer tour which comes after the conclusion of Cardiff Blues’ season.

Double Grand Slam-winning former Wales fly-half Jones, who represented his country on 104 occasions, began his coaching career at Wasps after retiring from playing in 2013 and returned to his native Scarlets as backs coach in 2015.

McBryde will take the lead role for a third time having previously toured as head coach in the USA & Canada in 2009 and Japan in 2013, ahead of the June 2017 tour, with fixtures against Tonga and Samoa to be confirmed.

“We are delighted announce that Danny, Matt and Stephen will be joining the set-up for next summer’s tour,” said McBryde

“The appointments will not only be hugely beneficial to the national squad, but to the whole game in Wales providing an opportunity for all three coaches to further enhance their coaching experience.

“Next summer we are going to be facing two passionate rugby nations and it will be a challenge for both players and coaches, but also an opportunity for us all.”

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