Pienaar's kicking prowess will keep me on my toes - Dragons full-back Jones

Pienaar's kicking prowess will keep me on my toes - Dragons full-back Jones

Pienaar's kicking prowess will keep me on my toes - Dragons full-back Jones

First published in Dragons

RHYS Jones hopes he doesn't get the runaround from Ulster's ace half-back Ruan Pienaar when Newport Gwent Dragons take to the Ravenhill turf this evening, writes Chris Kirwan.

Full-back Jones will make his second RaboDirect Pro12 appearance for the region fresh from kicking a superb touchline conversion to secure a 24-23 win against title hopefuls Glasgow.

The 26-year-old is currently solving a crisis at 15 while Dan Evans serves a suspension and Hallam Amos and Tom Prydie are on the treatment table.

And Jones, who plays his club rugby with Cross Keys in the Premiership, is relishing the chance to go up against one of the best teams in Europe, who will be directed around the paddock by their star South African.

"Ulster have got a great squad with a lot of world class players and Pienaar has a fantastic kicking game, so we will have to keep our eyes on him," said Jones, son of forwards coach Kingsley.

"With the tricky conditions at Ravenhill I am expecting him to put the ball around a bit so I will have to be on my toes to get under those kicks and we will need to work hard as a back three."

Jones is no stranger to a full-time set-up having come through the ranks at Sale Sharks before spells with Cornish Pirates and the Scarlets.

And he is currently splitting his time between the 15-man game and his commitments with Wales Sevens in what he hopes will be a golden year.

"It's a big year with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which we hope to do well in and there are four tournaments on the IRB circuit before then," he said.

"We've got Hong Kong and Tokyo in a month but hopefully when I'm not away with the sevens I'll continue joining in with the Dragons.

"It's great to get the opportunity, I really enjoyed it against Glasgow last week and I aim to improve areas of my game this week so that I put in an even stronger performance against Ulster.

"I got my first Wales age-grade cap at Ravenhill and we won. Hopefully I can win again with the Dragons."

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