Wales lose their Performance Director
NEWS: Ryan Jones has surprisingly quit his role as Welsh Rugby Union Performance Director five years after he first joined the WRU as Director of Community rugby.
The 39-year-old, who won 75 caps as a player and was involved in three Grand Slams, told the WRU website: “It has been a privilege to work for the WRU.
“It has really been a 20-year journey when you include my time as a player. Looking back what I didn’t appreciate when playing was just how much work goes on behind the scenes at the WRU.
“I firmly believe rugby is the ultimate team game but there are people at the Union who epitomise the saying, ‘Character is what you do when no one is watching’, a true high-performance behaviour.
“With a number of performance programmes paused due to the impact of COVID-19 on rugby, I now feel it’s the right time to put my efforts into new opportunities. I’m immensely proud of my contribution to Welsh rugby and what our dedicated teams have delivered during my time.
“Having worked across the whole of Welsh rugby for the last five years I know what we have is special and I would like to wish everyone involved in our game inside and outside of Wales, whether it be in the boardroom on the touchline or on the pitch, every success in the future.”
The pandemic has hit the sport hard in Wales, with sectors such as Wales Sevens shelved for the foreseeable future, and there are no immediate plans to recruit a direct replacement for Jones. Instead, parts of his role will be distributed among existing executive board staff and existing coaching teams.
WRU CEO Steve Phillips added: “Ryan the ‘suit’ has been very much like Ryan the player. His energy, effort and enthusiasm are always evident and he has, without doubt, helped change the culture at the WRU. His focus on making our sport accessible for everyone has permeated the organisation.
“He will be missed and we wish him well. I have no doubt he will be as successful in whatever he does next as he was on and off the field in Welsh rugby.”