Ceri Jones: Interim Dragons head coach wants job permanently

Ceri Jones oversees Dragons scrum training
Ceri Jones' playing career included two Wales caps and stints at Harlequins and Worcester
European Challenge Cup: Dragons v Clermont Auvergne
Venue: Rodney Parade, Newport Date: Friday, 18 January Kick-off: 19:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales and on the BBC Sport app and website

Interim coach Ceri Jones hopes to take permanent charge of Dragons beyond the end of the 2018-19 season.

The 41-year-old went from forwards coach to being named caretaker head coach as Dragons parted company with Bernard Jackman in December.

Dragons are seeking a permanent successor to former Ireland hooker Jackman.

Ex-Wales prop Jones hopes to make the most of his chance to impress, saying: "I will put my hat in the ring."

Former Harlequins and Worcester player Jones admits he did not expect to be in this position and "was quite happy to just do the forwards coach role".

However, his brief experience in charge of the team has left him wanting more in the region in which he was born, bred and played before moving to the London club Quins in 2003.

"I have another year on my contract, so regardless of what happens I see my future within the region," said Jones.

"I suppose that having the job until the end of the season it puts me a little bit more in control of my own destiny.

"It helps me shape the group and the future of the Dragons, so that's something that is key to me at the moment.

"I am from this place, it's my region. It's where I was born, it's where I was brought up, my father played for Newport, I played for Newport, I coached Ebbw Vale, it's where my family are all from.

"I want this region to succeed."

Under former Ireland hooker Jackman, Dragons won two Pro14 games in his first season in charge, 2017-2018, and had three more successes in 10 starts this season before he left on 11 December.

Since twice-capped Jones stepped in, Dragons have won twice including a rare success against a Welsh Pro14 rival when they beat Ospreys 23-22 in late December.

There have also been Dragons defeats at Clermont Auvergne in the European Challenge Cup and a narrow Pro14 loss at local rivals Cardiff Blues, followed by defeat at Scarlets.

Dragons hammered Romanian side Timisoara in Europe last Friday, with a home date against Clermont Auvergne to come on Friday, 18 January as they bow out of this season's competition at the pool stage.

They return to Pro14 action against Munster at Rodney Parade on Saturday, 26 January, the first of Dragons' eight remaining games this season.

Bowring among Jones' influences

Jones' coaching influences include ex-Wales boss Kevin Bowring, the former Rugby Football Union (RFU) head of elite coach development and current Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) head of rugby performance Geraint John.

"Kevin Bowring has been a huge help to me," said Jones.

"He took me through my level four coaching, which I did through the RFU when he was the overall coaching mentor within that.

"I still have a lot of contact with Kevin, he has been in this week and that's something that will continue. I hold him in very high esteem and he is great help.

"I have got plenty of contacts and it is really helpful, also Geraint John is very useful and there is help there from the union (WRU)."

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