Blues appoint Clive Jones to oversee player development


Clive Jones
Clive Jones

Cardiff Blues have appointed former Treorchy coach Clive Jones as their new director of development.

Jones replaces Australian Billy Millard who moved to Ireland for family reasons at the end of last season.

The Blues say ongoing financial constraints will force them to develop players from within for the foreseeable future, and they see Jones as the man to put in place the structures to enable them to do that.

“We see Clive as a key component to the new direction we intend to take,” said Blues chief executive Richard Holland.

“Through Pontypridd, Rhondda Schools and Coleg y Cymoedd, he has an excellent track-record of both identifying and developing talent, and putting the right structures in place.

“We have nearly one million people living within the region and the rugby tradition here, from the valleys to the Vale is second to none. Clive’s role will be to create a development strategy that harnesses this talent in partnership with the Premiership clubs.”

Jones has a reputation for player development and the creation of strong rugby cultures. He orchestrated the rise of the highly successful Coleg y Cymoedd rugby academy, which has produced 34 age-grade internationals in its six-year existence.

Blues head coach Danny Wilson said: “I have worked with Clive in the past and I’m certain his passion and knowledge will be hugely beneficial to the region’s future success.”

With his brother Chris, he also established the renowned Rhondda rugby programme, a conveyor belt of rugby talent that now makes up 26 per cent of Danny Wilson’s senior squad.

Jones said: “My role is to create a framework for this region that best fits its geography and history – both traditional and social - that enables the undoubted talent here to be maximised.

“Our region has two distinct areas to it in terms of geography, a mountainous area to the north - the Beacons and Valleys - and a flatter coastal area to the south - Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

“These two ‘provinces’ (north and south) have distinct characteristics and though having an interdependent history, are each unique.

“They are made up of seven natural districts again each having strong identities. This is the region and it is upon these natural and historical entities we must build our framework.

“Rugby in this region has always been fiercely tribal and we need to embrace and encourage it, both between our districts and our two provinces. I am a firm believer in producing players by design not chance and our unique composition as a region lends itself to it perfectly.

“This is the region – seven Districts, two Provinces, one Region. We will build on these districts and empower these provinces with a reworking of our academy system to give more players opportunity and focus our effort and resources, in partnership with our Premiership Clubs, on the 18-22 year old bracket.

“Through this we can align the region and maximise the potential we all know lies within its boundaries.” > News > Noticeboard > Blues appoint Clive Jones to oversee player development