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Neath & Ospreys Coach
Available to purchase on this page are items from the collection of former Welsh International player and Ospreys coach Lyn Jones. Each item is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Lyn Jones. Please scroll down or click on the links below to view the collection.
THE LYN JONES STORY
by Bryan Cokely
Former Welsh Rugby international and Ospreys Coach Lyn Jones began his senior career at a time when rugby was still a muddy amateur game, where for many players more time was spent in the clubhouse than on the training pitch. His coaching career also began in those simpler times at Treorchy Zebras but he became famously known for his successful tenure at the newly formed Ospreys regional rugby team where he guided a new team into professionalism to become Magners League and Anglo Welsh Cup champions. The fact that Jones straddled the divide between amateur and professional era's marks him out as an interesting and important figure in those difficult years for Welsh rugby............
INTERNATIONAL & REPRESENTATIVE JERSEYS & KIT
Japan National Team tour of Wales 1983 v Neath sweater.
Size extra large,
manufactured in Scotland, 100% acrylic fibre, this is possibly a Japan
team issue sweater although Lyn is not sure of it's origin.
Ref: PL20-tpja83wacb-ne - £22.50
Lyn could have been an Aberavon Wizards star following in the
footsteps of his late father Peter and brother Ashley both of whom were open
side flankers with a thirst for flattening outside halves. Lyn used to love
playing against Mark Ring, no doubt with the same aim in mind. However
Jones’ early career coincided with a severe economic downturn in the steel
town of Port Talbot and a poorly administered Wizards and found himself drawn to
the rising cross of arch rivals Neath at the dawn of their triumphant 80's revival. That
Cwmafan resident Jones would join the enemy says something about his single
mindedness to become a top rugby player rather than follow the well-worn path of
local boy, local club, and loyal forever.
At Neath Lyn quickly established himself as a fast off the mark and very hardworking flanker with a dry, playfully mischievous personality to sweeten the hard as nails approach on the pitch. An early player profile in a match day programme has Jones quoted as saying he was born in 1966 and was 5ft 11inches. Later it was discovered that in the Llanelli treble winning team of which he was an integral member he had shrunk to 5ft 10 and had aged 2 years by being born in 1964. Typical Jones........................
SCHWEPPES WRU CUP FINAL JERSEYS - sold out
was also taken as typical Jones cheekiness was his claim that his ambition was
"to coach a successful Lions side in
Lyn's playing career
took on a new level when he joined the successful Llanelli Scarlets team of the
early 90's. On November
14, 1992 Jones played his heart out swarming over Aussie outside
half Tim Horan in a dramatic 13-9 win over world champions Australia at a
heaving, electrified Stradey Park. Ieuan Evans scoring the winning try. This perhaps was the pinnacle of Jones’ playing career. His time at
Jones' late career was
affected by the rise of the giant back row favoured by
Ospreys, Neath-Swansea - replica child's size early
Osprey's jersey from by Kooga, possibly a team mascot's jersey, un-numbered size approx age
10-12, the jersey has been worn and is a little grubby. This jersey comes complete with a COA signed by Lyn Jones
guaranteeing it's authenticity.
Ref: PL19-jyrpwapv-os-chld - £10.00
Ospreys 2006-07 season - team issue alternate strip jersey by Kooga, un-numbered, size
XXXL, in excellent condition. This jersey comes complete with a COA signed by Lyn Jones
guaranteeing it's authenticity.
Ref: PL21-jywapv-os06-07 - £37.50
CLUB JERSEYS & KIT - sold out
Returning to Neath was always an ambition of
Lyn's and when the offer to coach the Gnoll club came he grabbed it with delight
and took the 'Men in Black' to the 1994-5 Heineken National League title. That
summer the game turned professional and Jones was on the move again for a short
spell at the ambitious Treorchy club as a player/coach before returning once
more to the Gnoll. It was during this second spell at the helm that he forged himself as a pro active
innovative coach with a great eye for unrecognised talent. Take one Shane
Williams for example whom Jones signed up as an unsuccessful district scrum half
and helped turn winger Shane into World player of the year a decade later.
Throughout his playing and coaching career thus far, Jones had also
managed to work as a boilermaker, started his own "open all hours"
hardware store, set up a successful industrial supplies business,
and become a good husband and father of two boys.
the revolution in Welsh rugby came. Neath joined forces with
Jones' straightforwardness, ability as a man manager and group
leader saw the Ospreys become a young team with potential. An eye for a bargain
and his opportunistic nature then saw Jones snap up Ryan Jones, Brett Cockbain
and Sonny Parker from the disbanded Celtic Warriors. From this point the
Ospreys kicked on to win trophies and become a serious player in the Heineken
cup. Along the way an almost second string Ospreys side were lead to victory
over the touring Wallabies in a 24 –16 thriller, to give Jones the honour of
However no sooner had
Jones' Ospreys built on this success with a stunning win over
Some inside the club became jittery at the lack of a Heineken cup trophy and Jones and the Ospreys parted company. Two season’s later and not much has changed at the Osprey’s, still a fine team on their day, but frustratingly inconsistent. The number of Internationals on their books is both a blessing and a burden with the nature of the fractured Northern Hemisphere season meaning that Internationals are away from the region for two large spells each season. Continuity and momentum was difficult to achieve with absence injury and fatigue huge factors to overcome for peaking at the right time in the season. With hindsight it is clear that Jones was brilliant for the Ospreys.......................
REPLICA JERSEYS - sold out
Presentation plaque from Neath RFC to Lyn Jones on his
representation for Wales B against Italy in 1986, size 28cm x 15cm, in excellent condition. This
plaque comes complete with a COA signed by Lyn Jones
guaranteeing it's authenticity.
Ref: PL21-pqwacb-ne-wa-b-triy86 - £19.50
Not being one to sit around Jones headed off to the Dragons for a
stint as attack coach before surprising the rugby world by taking up a post in
A man who has coached the likes of Ryan, Duncan and Adam Jones, Shane Williams, Justin Marshall (his greatest challenge), Gavin Henson, Alun Wyn Jones and Ian Evans is too good to be lost from Welsh rugby. However Jones has always put emotion to one side when considering his future and has almost always been one step ahead. Will we see him again in a tracksuit ?
We certainly hope so !!!!!
by Bryan Cokely
UPDATE - Lyn has returned from Dubai to take up the head coach position at London Welsh. he has since guided 'the Welsh' to the top flight of English rugby, the Aviva Premiership.
Cokely has spent the past 25 years sunning himself up in
career ending injury at 25 meant that Cokely took up PE teaching
and a decade later became a Physics teacher. He
also spent a decade coaching juniors and progressed to become a
staff coach at the Manchester United sponsored
he is more likely to be seen at home with his two daughters and
Australian wife Karen. In the quieter moments he will sip on a
trappist ale whilst listening to a bit of Pat Metheny Wayne
Shorter or Chick Corea.....Niiiice !
being pressed for a greatest moment in sport Cokely fondly recalls
his record breaking run around Mynnydd Dinas to lift the school (Glanafan)
cross country title in a time which has never been beaten. Bryan
has a voracious appetite for Welsh sport and has kept in touch
through any means possible,
Lyn's profile in a 1980s Neath programme and newspaper report !
Lyn as a youngster on the field after the Wales v NZ 1978 match.
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