FORMER Dragons coach Ceri Jones will leave his role as boss of RGC at the end of the season to ‘explore new opportunities’.

The ex-Newport prop from Usk has been head coach of the Colwyn Bay-based Premiership club since September 2021 but a new person will be at the helm for the new Elite Domestic Competition.

Jones was forwards coach with Ebbw Vale before taking the same role with the Dragons and having a spell as caretaker boss at Rodney Parade.

The 46-year-old, a Harlequins great as a player, helping bring through the likes of Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Cory Hill and Aaron Wainwright before leaving in 2020 and heading north a year later.

Jones said that it was the “right time for me to explore new opportunities” after three campaigns in Colwyn Bay.

South Wales Argus: Former Dragons coach Ceri JonesFormer Dragons coach Ceri Jones

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with RGC and I’m extremely proud of the player development that has taken place during my time here with the likes of [Scarlets scrum-half] Efan Jones and [on-loan Dragons hooker] Brodie Coghlan going on to achieve professional contracts,” he said.

“I’ll do all I can now to ensure we have a positive finish to the season, and I can’t thank the players and the staff enough for all their time and effort during the past three years.”

RGC sit 11th in the 13-team Premiership and have seven games to play before a new boss will take the reins for the EDC.

“I have nothing but positive words to say about Ceri,” said RGC general manager Alun Pritchard.

“He is a true gentleman who has helped create a positive working environment across the region and sacrificed a lot in the interests of RGC.

“However, I feel it is the right time for change, with new emphasis and a fresh approach, particularly with the revitalised proposed EDC league structure.

“RGC will continue to fight for the remainder of the season, and I have full faith in Ceri, as the true professional he is, to give his all and help RGC finish as high up the league table as possible whilst continuing to develop our young squad.”