MARK Jones has announced his planned departure from the Scarlets coaching set-up at the end of the season.
The Builth Wells-born former Welsh international wing is currently backs coach at Parc-Y-Scarlets, a position held for five years, but he will now make way for former club and country team-mate Stephen Jones.
Jones departs with an impressive CV having joined the Scarlets coaching set-up in 2010 after hanging up his boots following a glittering career which included 47 full caps for Wales and a seventeen year spell with the Llanelli-based region.
Jones has worked alongside head coaches Nigel Davies and Simon Easterby at the Scarlets, while also being part of the national team coaching set-up during the RBS Six Nations Championships of 2012 and 2013.
However come the end of the season Jones will walk away from the Guinness Pro12 club with his place on head coach Wayne Pivac’s bench being taken by Stephen Jones who will return to the club from Aviva Premiership side, Wasps.
Jones said: “The Scarlets has been a huge part of my life and I’m thankful for the opportunities and experiences I’ve had over the years.
“I’d like to thank the players that I’ve worked alongside over the years, as both a player and a coach and particularly owe my thanks to Gareth Jenkins and Nigel Davies who allowed me to play for, captain and coach the club.
Jones made 163 playing appearances for Llanelli RFC and the Scarlets over 12 seasons, scoring 85 tries and was involved in the Scarlets’ memorable Heineken Cup campaigns of the early 2000s, in which the club narrowly missed out on reaching the final.
He added: “As a coach it has been an honour and a privilege to play my part in helping develop players and see them achieve their dreams of playing for Wales and even the British Lions.
“The Scarlets has been the biggest part of my life but I feel that the time is right to further challenge myself, both personally and professionally.”
Scarlets chairman Nigel Short said: “Mark has been a great servant to the region for 17 years giving his all as a formidable back-three player before taking on a more senior role within the coaching group.
“We are grateful for all the work that he has done for the Scarlets.”