A former Rugby Academy star at Rydal Penrhos has been reflecting a successful first season back within the RGC set-up.
Dion Jones, who left the school in 2012, made a welcome return to the club prior to the start of last season, making a series of consistent and impressive appearances to help the Gogs achieve another high finish.
He was previously a member of the RGC Rugby Academy as a promising youngster at Rydal Penrhos, before departing the Principality Premiership side for a brief period.
Jones, said: “Looking back at last season, I think I found my consistency mid-way through the year, as it was probably down to me settling into the team. This season my aim is to keep that level of performance going and build on that.
"As a team I think it’s fair to say we under achieved, and towards the end of the season we let some games slip away from us, especially on the road.
“It is vital we see more games out this year and make sure we are competing for the whole 80 minutes. We know games will be difficult, and when we go on the road the challenge is there from kick off, so from a performance point of view we can’t drop in our levels or we will get punished.”
Jones has now emerged as a more important member of the squad given the high-profile departures of Tiaan Loots, Alex Schwartz and Jacob Botica, with Afon Bagshaw also set to miss portions of the top flight campaign after being awarded a 7s contract by the Welsh Rugby Union.
He will be looking to extend his outstanding start to the season when RGC travel to Pontypridd on Friday night in front of the BBC Scrum V cameras (7.10pm).
“Losing Schwarzy, Bots and Tiaan has meant we have lost some experience, but, as a team I think we have adapted,” added Jones.
“Billy McByrde has slotted in, and with him and Danny Cross being left footed it actually offers something different. We will keep developing and working on creating those opportunities.
“Basically, for me it is about being approachable, I might not always have the answers but if the Academy players have any questions then I am available to help. A lot of it comes down to confidence, so hopefully I can assist in the development.”
Photo by Tony Bale