Welsh veteran rugby mentor Lyn Jones has been appointed as the new head coach of the Namibia Currie Cup team, known as the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias.
Jones, who boasts a remarkable 22-year coaching career, is expected to take full charge of the team in February next year. The Welshman has worked with various big clubs in Europe, including in his native Wales.
The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) made the announcement yesterday, saying Jones’ wealth of experience will come in handy and his arrival would signal a crucial turning point in Namibian rugby.
“To coach in one of the world’s truly great rugby competitions, the Currie Cup, is an opportunity too good to just let pass me by. Phil’s [Davies, senior rugby team coach] plans for Namibian rugby are typically detailed and impressive and I’m looking forward to doing all I can to add value to his vision.
“In my 22-year old coaching career, helping young players realise their potential has always been my focus and Phil has assembled a squad that is young, talented and keen to prove themselves. I can’t wait to get started,” said Jones, as quoted in the NRU statement.
Namibia failed to progress in this year’s Currie Cup tournament after losing almost all their preliminary round matches, but despite the setbacks, the players have already started training in anticipation of next year’s Currie Cup and also for the arrival of coach Jones early next year.
According to the NRU, Namibia’s participation in this year’s Currie Cup was not easy, but the objectives to grow the players and develop depth in the squad were met and various important structures were also put in place to support the union’s efforts of ensuring continuity in the team.
A brief background check on Jones reveals that his first coaching appointment was with Welsh outfit Neath in 1994, following a premature end to his playing career. He was appointed head coach of the Ospreys when the regional team was created in 2003, but left by mutual agreement on May 16, 2008 and joined Newport Gwent Dragons in November 2008 as assistant.
In June 2009 Jones became the director of rugby at the British School, Abu Dhabi, UAE and in June 2011, was appointed head coach of London Welsh RFC. In June 2013 Jones was appointed director of rugby at Newport Gwent Dragons and in 2014 took over as head coach following the departure of Darren Edwards. He left his role as director of rugby at Newport Gwent Dragons in April.