FORMER Dragons coach Ceri Jones is back in rugby after being appointed as boss of RGC in the Premiership.

The 44-year-old has been out of rugby since leaving Rodney Parade in 2020 but will now return to club rugby in the north.

Jones was hugely influential at the Dragons after being brought in as forwards coach in 2016 by Kingsley Jones.

The former prop, who was a cup winner with Newport before becoming a Harlequins legend, helped bring through the likes of Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Cory Hill and Aaron Wainwright.

He had a spell as caretaker boss after the exit of Bernard Jackman, guiding the Dragons to a first Judgement Day win, but left after Dean Ryan brought in Mefin Davies last summer.

Jones, who helped Ebbw Vale win the Premiership in 2016, is relishing the change to get stuck in at RGC.

South Wales Argus:

“I’m delighted to be here and can’t wait to get working with the lads on a full-time basis,” he said. "RGC is a sleeping giant - a huge area with an increasing number of people participating in rugby.

“When you combine that with the amazing facilities available at Parc Eirias then you are talking about a fully-fledged rugby region in all but name.

“I’ve had the opportunity to see the players train and there is some great talent on show. It’s a young squad and I’ll be aiming to develop them and strengthening the pathway so that more players can come through the academy programme and go on to represent RGC, Wales age-grade teams and the Wales national team.”

WRU head of participation Geraint John is confident that Jones, who was with Worcester’s academy before heading for the Dragons, can help with the next generation up north.

He said: “The role is to support the academy in North Wales and RGC and to help develop players from the age of 16 upwards in our regional academy programme.

“North Wales is part of our development region for the Welsh Rugby Union, strategically it’s our aim to support and grow the game in North Wales on and off the field.

“We're fortunate someone of the calibre of Ceri is following in the footsteps of the likes of Phil Davies and Mark Jones.

“Ceri has a proven record of developing players at the Dragons and Worcester and now his knowledge of right across North Wales hopefully will help to attract players and make them better, and his appointment is also good for coaches in the future as well.”