Dorian Jones ready for battle to replace Steffan Jones
FLY-HALF Dorian Jones has been told he has big boots to fill after making the move from Ebbw Vale to Cross Keys.
The 20-year-old will line up for the Swalec Cup holders in the Premiership rather than the Division One East champions next season.
Jones will follow the lead of his dad Kingsley, the former Wales skipper, in lining up for both Ebbw and Keys.
With Steffan Jones unlikely to be released from Newport Gwent Dragons duty very often next term there promises to be a battle for the start at fly-half.
Dorian Jones will attempt to wrestle the number 10 jersey away from Dean Gunter, who played a vital role as Keys won the first piece of silverware in their history at the Millennium Stadium earlier this month.
“It should be a great battle for the start between Dorian and Dean,” said head coach Greg Woods.
“I don’t think we will see much of Steffan and his are pretty big boots to fill after all that he has done for us over the last two seasons.
“But Dorian has a fantastic kicking game and has matured greatly with Ebbw Vale in the last few years.
“They have done terrific work with him and I know that the decision to leave was a very hard one for him.
“Their cup run (Vale were beaten on try count by Keys in the semi-final after beating three Premiership sides) showed that he can play at a higher level and I know that he is really keen to make an impression here.”
Keys have added a pair of experienced Premiership campaigners to their squad in half-back Ryan James and tighthead Anthony Lott.
James returns to Pandy Park after a season with Newport while Lott, who made a solitary Dragons appearance in 2008’s Anglo-Welsh Cup after impressing while with Ebbw Vale, signs from Bargoed.
"Both players will add real edge," said Woods. "We have brought in another strong scrummager in Anthony while we know all about Ryan’s leadership qualities."
Also joining the ranks at Pandy Park will be Abercarn pair Sean Higgins and Leon Burgess, a lock and back row forward, and rapid Glamorgan Wanderers full-back/wing Elliot Jones.
The young trio all impressed on permit at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, the Scarlets confirmed yesterday that they have signed Keys lock Lewis Rawlins on an academy contract.