Young gun Jones gets his chance to stake a claim

South Wales Argus: TALENT: Dragons starlet Ieuan Jones TALENT: Dragons starlet Ieuan Jones

BATH v DRAGONS (Tomorrow, KO 2.15)

IT WAS around this time last year that number eight Ieuan Jones made his regional bow for Newport Gwent Dragons at Wasps – but it was far from a regulation way to make a debut.

The back row forward, then 18, had been recovering from a broken bone in his left hand and was in a plaster cast.

No bother. The qualified carpenter from Aberbargoed cut off the protection and went on to play his part as a sub in the 30-29 LV= Cup win.

“It’s part and parcel of playing rugby,” said 19-year-old Jones ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Bath. “You just do what needs to be done!”

It’s one of many tales about a bright prospect from the Andy Powell school of number eights, both in terms of his appetite for collisions and his off-field personality.

Jones has highlights in his hair, a penchant for tattoos, a bright yellow car and is a popular member of the squad – but most importantly produces the goods on the field.

It was clear when he turned out for Pontypool in the Premiership last season that he had talent, it was just a case of him adding some bulk.

“Ieuan brings real intensity – he is abrasive and gives 100 per cent all the time” said James Chapron, the Dragons Academy boss who was his coach at Pooler.

“He wasn’t as fortunate as some in that he didn’t come through the system but the conditioning work is starting to pay off and go along with his work ethic and gusto.

“But Ieuan isn’t just about that, he has really matured and has the drive and desire to push others to be better.”

Jones has maintained his progress with Newport this season and the Dragons plan to wind him up and watch him go tomorrow afternoon.

If he impresses then he could well play a prominent role this season given their scarce back row resources.

With Dan Lydiate, Hywel Stoddart and Darren Waters out of action with long-term injuries, this is a golden shot for Jones.

He deputises for in-form number eight Tom Brown, who suffered a bump at Glasgow, and wants to stand out at the Rec.

“It’s my chance to prove a point and show what I can do,” said Jones, who was a member of the Wales Under-20s Junior World Championship squad last summer.

“The LV= Cup is a good opportunity to get a couple of games and hopefully keep my spot.

“I need to play well in these games then progress from there because I think there is a real opportunity to get more Dragons games.

“It’s been a great help working alongside Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau this season and now I’ve got my chance to impress.

“I just need to get stuck in at Bath, carry hard and make my tackles. It will be a good test for me but I can’t wait.”

Jones has made just one appearance this season – in the Amlin Challenge Cup defeat at Wasps – but his head coach believes he’s made great strides.

“It’s been a bit different for Ieuan than it has for (fellow teenagers) Jack Dixon and Hallam Amos,” said Darren Edwards.

“Unlike backs you have to make sure young forwards can come through physically but we have worked hard with him and I am sure he will demonstrate all of that effort tomorrow.

“Ieaun is a tough player, both physically and mentally, and we are all excited about seeing him at Bath.

“He’s done it in the Premiership and we don’t doubt he can do it at the next level.”

Comments (8)

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4:27pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Cwmsteve says...

How on earth is this nonsense cup game kicking off 15 minutes prior to both the Wales and England games. Surely someones marketing department has got it very very wrong!! Or perhaps Mr Beale didn't realise there was international games on.
How on earth is this nonsense cup game kicking off 15 minutes prior to both the Wales and England games. Surely someones marketing department has got it very very wrong!! Or perhaps Mr Beale didn't realise there was international games on. Cwmsteve

6:40pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Euwan Usami says...

Couldn't agree more, if there was ever a case for a Friday kick off this was it surely?
Couldn't agree more, if there was ever a case for a Friday kick off this was it surely? Euwan Usami

10:37pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Welshman76 says...

It's another example of the WRU and the regions not working together demonstrating the ever widening gap!
It's another example of the WRU and the regions not working together demonstrating the ever widening gap! Welshman76

1:07am Sat 10 Nov 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

Nothing to do with the WRU OR ENGLAND this has Ben a sub fixture since day one. No one takes it seriously other than the teams with any chance of winning (mainly English) who see it as another route int the H cup. It has no value other than trying out the younger players. Look at the Ospreys tonight, they played young payers who did extremely well in a tight game and should be given the praise they deserve, they did well. But, will they be forst choice next game? Probably not its about development.
Nothing to do with the WRU OR ENGLAND this has Ben a sub fixture since day one. No one takes it seriously other than the teams with any chance of winning (mainly English) who see it as another route int the H cup. It has no value other than trying out the younger players. Look at the Ospreys tonight, they played young payers who did extremely well in a tight game and should be given the praise they deserve, they did well. But, will they be forst choice next game? Probably not its about development. Robert Shillabeer

2:51am Sat 10 Nov 12

Welshman76 says...

Of course it has something to do with the WRU. dragons fans now have to make a choice between club or country. This game could have played Friday or Sunday or at worst Saturday evening. It should never overlap
Of course it has something to do with the WRU. dragons fans now have to make a choice between club or country. This game could have played Friday or Sunday or at worst Saturday evening. It should never overlap Welshman76

12:00pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Dai Trying says...

This is Baths home game, and I guess Sky tv also has something to do with the timing. Nothing at all to do with the WRU.
This is Baths home game, and I guess Sky tv also has something to do with the timing. Nothing at all to do with the WRU. Dai Trying

2:39pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Welshman76 says...

Dai Trying wrote:
This is Baths home game, and I guess Sky tv also has something to do with the timing. Nothing at all to do with the WRU.
Really? The WRU can't say or do anything to sort it out? Of course they can if they wanted. They and the Dragons are depriving dragons fans of watching both games so they both should have supported each other and said no!
[quote][p][bold]Dai Trying[/bold] wrote: This is Baths home game, and I guess Sky tv also has something to do with the timing. Nothing at all to do with the WRU.[/p][/quote]Really? The WRU can't say or do anything to sort it out? Of course they can if they wanted. They and the Dragons are depriving dragons fans of watching both games so they both should have supported each other and said no! Welshman76

8:27pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

This competition has been set by the competition sponsor regardless of the International fixtures. They put up the tv schedule and simply call the tune. Anyway I watched the game in Cardiff and was not impressed by a very poor Welsh performance indeed. Hope they can do better on Friday (Wales that is).
This competition has been set by the competition sponsor regardless of the International fixtures. They put up the tv schedule and simply call the tune. Anyway I watched the game in Cardiff and was not impressed by a very poor Welsh performance indeed. Hope they can do better on Friday (Wales that is). Robert Shillabeer

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