RYAN JONES

Former Wales international rugby union captain and British Lions player, Ryan is another high-class sports star who took an unorthodox route to success. Firstly, Jones played was actually a very talented goalkeeper and so only took up the game of rugby at 17 to play with his friends! Rather than be signed to a professional club, Ryan then studied at Cardiff Metropolitan University gaining a BSc (Hons) and playing over 100 games for the University team. It was while at university he began his club career firstly with Newport RFC, then Bridgend RFC before moving on to the Celtic Warriors at the start of regional rugby in 2003.

In 2004, when the Celtic Warriors were disbanded he was offered a contract with the Ospreys, who went on to win league twice before Jones was appointed captain at the start of the 2007–08 season. It was also in 2004 that he made his first start for Wales and featured in the 2005 Grand Slam winning side.

He then began the 2007-08 season as captain of Ospreys (winning the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2007–08 and the Magners League for the third time in 2009–10) but he also was named Wales captain for the first time in January 2008 as they then went on to a second Grand Slam under his leadership. He would go on to hold the record as Wales’ most capped captain in 2012 and enjoy many years of success with club and country.

In 2014, Jones signed for English club Bristol Rugby before retiring in 2015 where he first become involved with community coaching for Mumbles RFC and then taking on the prestigious role of Head of Participation for the Welsh Rugby Union. His goal is to bring rugby to as many different communities and individuals as he can and has been very vocal in his support for Coach Core helping to achieve this. He is also a Director and Trustee for Disability Sport Wales.

Ryan was delighted to be handing out the graduation certificates with WRU President, Dennis Gethnin at the recent autumn international versus Argentina with a half time celebration dedicated to their progress.