NEWPORT RFC have appointed Ceri Jones as forwards coach – and the former prop will have a swift reunion with his hometown club.

The 47-year-old from Usk has replaced Sam Hobbs, who has been promoted to forwards coach at the Dragons, on head coach Ty Morris’ backroom staff.

Jones, who made 98 appearances for the Black and Ambers between 1998 and 2003, faced the Premiership runners-up while in charge of RGC but left the Colwyn Bay-based side at the end of last season.

He has returned to the Dragons as head coach of the academy after previously being forwards coach for the professional Rodney Parade club.

The Harlequins great will combine that role with coaching the Black and Ambers in the first season of Super Rygbi Cymru as they attempt to go one better after last season’s final heartbreak in Llandovery.

BACK: Ceri Jones is back in Gwent with the Dragons and NewportBACK: Ceri Jones is back in Gwent with the Dragons and Newport

Jones will be charged with building on the work done by Hobbs, who helped build a strong Newport pack while also developing up-and-coming Dragons talent.

The likes of Wales Under-20s lock Nick Thomas will be challenged to follow the lead of Ryan Woodman by learning through experience in the SRC.

Newport get their season under way when they welcome Bridgend to Spytty Park on Saturday, September 14 but before then will be an important date for Jones.

Morris' men start their pre-season fixtures with a friendly at Usk on Saturday, August 3.

That encounter will mark both clubs celebrating their 150th anniversaries, and this time Jones will be on the touchline.

The Gwent sides also faced each other in 1999 to mark 125 years when Newport’s Ceri locked horns with an Usk team featuring his brother Gareth.