Duncan Jones (rugby player)
|Full name||Duncan James Jones|
|Date of birth||18 September 1978|
|Place of birth||Neath, Wales|
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||110 kg (17 st 5 lb; 240 lb)|
|School||Cymer Afan School|
|Rugby union career|
Jones was educated at Cymer Afan School and Neath College. He has represented Wales at every level from Schools up to the national side, including the Grand Slam-winning Under-21 side of 1999. During the early part of his career, Jones played at tighthead prop, but successfully converted to the loosehead position in 2001.
He made his first-class debut for Neath RFC in 1999 and played for the club until the end of the 2002–03 season, when, following a reorganisation of Welsh rugby, Jones transferred to what was then the Neath-Swansea Ospreys. He made his debut for the Ospreys on 10 January 2004. However he was soon followed by Adam Jones who made his first appearance for Ospreys on 13 March 2004 against Stade Toulousain.
In 2005–06, Duncan Jones took over as captain of the Ospreys, following an injury to Barry Williams, and he was appointed captain for the 2006–07 season, during which he led the team to the Celtic League title.
He made his debut for Wales on 25 November 2001, coming on as a substitute in the Autumn International against Australia. In the 2002 Six Nations Championship, he made two appearances as a substitute, against France and Ireland.
Jones made his first start for Wales in August 2003, playing in two warm-up matches, against Ireland and Scotland. He was selected in the squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup and started in two pool games, against Canada and Italy, but suffered a fractured fibula during the game against Italy and had to return home, being replaced by Ospreys teammate Paul James.
He returned from injury in time to start three games in the 2004 Six Nations Championship; he also started in both Tests against Argentina and came on as a replacement against South Africa on Wales's mid-year tour.
Jones played in the 2004 Autumn Internationals but a dislocated thumb, sustained during a Heineken Cup match between the Ospreys and Munster in January 2005, meant that he was unavailable for the 2005 Six Nations Championship, in which Wales achieved the Grand Slam. He returned to the Welsh team for a two-game tour to the USA and Canada in June 2005.
In 2005–06, Jones started in all but one of Wales's Autumn Internationals (he missed the game against Fiji) and in all their 2006 Six Nations Championship matches, following which he was chosen by new coach Gareth Jenkins to captain the side during a mid-year two-Test tour of Argentina. In October 2006, Jenkins appointed Stephen Jones to captain Wales through to the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but when Stephen Jones was rested for the Autumn International against the Pacific Islanders, Duncan Jones returned to captain Wales at home for the first time. He played, as starter or substitute, in all four Autumn Internationals and all five matches in the 2007 Six Nations Championship, but was rested for the mid-year tour to Australia.
Jones was named in the Welsh squad for the 2007 World Cup, and started in the warm-up games against Argentina and France, but though he played in all four pool games during the tournament, he only started in one game, against Japan. He subsequently featured as a substitute in a one-off Test against new World Champions, South Africa, in November 2007 and started in Wales's first two games in the 2008 Six Nations Championship, against England and Scotland.
Although "not the biggest guy" for a prop, Jones makes up for his perceived lack of size with speed, mobility and ball-handling skills that would not disgrace a back. As well as being a good ball-carrier, he is also solid in the scrum and a hard-working defensive tackler.
On the field, Jones is instantly recognisable because of his long curly blond hair. His previous Ospreys and Wales front-row partner Adam Jones is equally recognisable by his shaggy dark hair and the two props were popularly known as the "Hair Bears".
- Smith, Andy (2004). The International Rugby Who's Who. Cheltenham: SportsBooks Ltd. ISBN 1-899807-23-3.
- "Duncan Jones to captain Ospreys". 27 June 2006.
- "Duncan Jones doubt for Wales". RBS 6 Nations. 15 January 2005.
- "Jenkins names 32 man squad for the Invesco Perpetual Series". WRU. 25 October 2006.
- "Jenkins hints at World Cup places". BBC Sport. 3 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- Viner, Brian (26 January 2007). "One half of the Hair Bears laid bare". The Independent.
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