WELSH rugby legend Stephen Jones passed on his trade secrets to budding young sports stars in Colwyn Bay yesterday.
The former Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half dropped in on the last day of the WRU Junior Stars training camp in Parc Eirias on Wednesday for a masterclass with more than 70 youngsters from across North Wales.
Jones, capped more than 100 times for Wales with six British and Irish Lions appearances, led a hands-on training session with the children and shared top-tips with RGC stand-off Rhodri Carlton-Jones and the club’s elite academy players.
He said: “It’s of huge importance, not just for the rugby element but for developing youngsters as a whole, building their confidence and social skills.
“The facilities in North Wales are wonderful, the first-team RGC pitch is like a bowling green.”
Children from across the region signed up for the camp, held by the WRU and supported by Colwyn Bay ladies RFC, to help boost their rugby skills.
Jones added: “I didn’t start playing rugby properly until I was 15, but there’s so many organisations and pathways for children to get into the professional game now, which is good.”
North Wales performance development manager, Marc Roberts, said: “It’s essential for us because we’re trying to merge a performance and a development programme.
“So we had kids with no experience of rugby training alongisde our elite academy players who are getting a masterclass from Stephen Jones.
“It’s fantastic - the kids were in awe of him, as they should be with his track record as a Lion and a Welsh International.
“The simple little techniques he can pass on to them will stand them in good stead for the rest of their careers.”
WRU participation officer, Allan James, added: “We always have Wales rugby stars on the third day of our junior stars camps and to have Stephen Jones here is great for the children.
“It’s been a really positive experience for them.”
For all the pictures, pick up next week’s edition of the North Wales Pioneer.