Stephen Jones' Scarlets return surprises ex-boss Nigel Davies

Nigel Davies (L) and Stephen Jones (R)
Nigel Davies (L) coached Stephen Jones (R) during his Scarlets reign. Jones is the Scarlets' record points scorer with 2,791.

Former Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies admits he is surprised Stephen Jones is leaving Wasps to join the Llanelli-based region's coaching staff.

Former Llanelli, Wales and Lions fly-half Jones will return to Scarlets as backs coach at the end of the season.

Davies can see the attraction of Jones, 37, returning to his home region, but added: "It is a little bit strange.

"But I suppose, at the end of the day, the pull to come back to the Scarlets was too big a pull for him."

Davies continued: "He is still quite young in his coaching career and you would have thought he is in an environment where he's thriving and the team's thriving, and he would maybe carry that on for a couple of years and see how far they can go."

Stephen Jones in numbers:
Scarlets appearances (inc. Llanelli RFC): 312Scarlets points: 2,791International appearances: 110 (inc. six Lions Tests)Wales points: 917Lions points: 53

Jones, who played more than 300 games for the Scarlets, joined Wasps as a player in 2012 before moving into coaching, and is currently Dai Young's assistant at the English Premiership club.

But he will succeed former team-mate Mark Jones as Scarlets re-jig their staff ahead of the 2015-16 season.

Wasps have been flourishing lately, climbing to fourth place in the Premiership and attracting large crowds at their new home, Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

"It is [a surprise Jones is leaving]. Wasps have got a very strong squad and there's a lot going on at the club," said Davies.

"Dai Young has put a strong squad together and invested in Stephen, and Stephen looks to be doing a great job up there."

Davies, who left his job as Gloucester coach in May 2014, can understand why Jones has taken the chance to return to Scarlets.

"What you can't forget is that there's only a finite number of opportunities in coaching," added Davies.

"When you get opportunities which are maybe too good to pass up, you have got to take your chance there and then.

"He's a Scarlet through and through and it was a great opportunity that presented itself."

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