Wales tour: Jones and Wilson withdrawals 'not ideal' - Robinson

Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones made 104 appearances for Wales as a player

Scarlets backs coach Stephen Jones will not be part of Wales' coaching team on their summer tour to Tonga and Samoa.

Jones pulled out because of Scarlets' Pro12 commitments and follows Blues coach Danny Wilson in opting out of a tour that will be led by Robin McBryde.

Former Wales fly-half Nicky Robinson has described the withdrawals as "not ideal at all".

Jones said it had been "a huge honour" to have been offered the chance.

Scarlets' third-place finish in the Pro12 sees them play Leinster in the first Championship semi-final on Friday, 19 May.

If they beat holders Leinster, the west Wales region would then play in the final on Saturday, 27 May in Dublin, two weeks before Wales' first summer tour Test.

McBryde's team face Tonga on 16 June and Samoa a week later.

Jones added: "Firstly, I would like to thank Robin for his support and understanding on this matter.

"We are delighted, as a region, to be in a position to be playing for silverware and the Scarlets has to take precedence.

"Reaching the play-offs means an extended season and increased workload, meaning I can't give my undivided attention to preparing for the tour.

"I wish the coaching group, and the players alike, the very best of luck in the two-Test tour, but am also looking forward to the next few weeks with the Scarlets as we push for a place in the final."

Nicky Robinson
Fly-half Nicky Robinson earned 13 caps for Wales

Robinson, who is still contracted to play for the Blues, views the withdrawals of Wilson and Jones as a missed opportunity.

"It doesn't look great. You'd be lying if you said it looked good, two young coaches like that pulling out of the tour," Robinson told BBC Wales Sport.

"But I guess it is what it is. You've got Matt Sherratt there who did the backs during the autumn internationals and I'm sure he could slot in and do the attack stuff Stephen was going to do.

"But it would have been great to have Stephen's involvement in the Wales squad, for him to learn about the environment and great for the youngsters to learn from him."

Wales' third coaching boss in a year

The Wales coaching team for the tour is led by McBryde and includes Shaun Edwards, Cardiff Blues assistant coach Sherratt and Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams.

Further additions to the coaching staff could now be made by McBryde, who is Wales' third coaching boss in a year.

Warren Gatland handed the reigns to Rob Howley as he prepared for the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Howley has in turn joined Gatland's Lions staff, giving former Wales and Lions hooker McBryde the chance to guide the nation's summer tourists.

"I was looking forward to welcoming Stephen onto the summer tour, as were the rest of the management team, so I'm disappointed that we are missing out on the opportunity to work together," McBryde said.

"However, I have to respect his decision and wish him and the region the best of luck over the coming weeks."

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