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CoacHclass Interview with Sam Jones

Our CoacHclass Programme Officer Ryan Hunt caught up with former CoacHclass protege Sam Jones to talk about his rise through the rugby ranks

Sam Jones at our Summer CoacHclass

Sam Jones at our Summer CoacHclass

First introduced to rugby at Aylesbury RFC aged 7 by his dad Roger, Sam took part in two Sunday morning rugby sessions at Ostlers Field before deciding that it wasn't for him. He took the decision to prematurely retire from the game and switch his attention to football. However, at the age of 11 he started at Aylesbury Grammar School and his beloved football wasn't on the curriculum; which forced him to reconsider his involvement in sport. Rugby was on the curriculum and so willingly or unwillingly he took to the field again. With a far more positive re-introduction to the sport, Sam continued to play for his school and eventually rejoined Aylesbury RFC; playing for the Magenta & Blacks until he was 17. After a couple years playing schools and club rugby, Sam was selected to go along to the Buckinghamshire School of Rugby trials. He impressed and continued to train with and represent Bucks RFU through the youth age groups.

During Sam's early development years, he took part in the London Wasps CoacHclass Programme. He was already on the radar of our Academy when his potential was further highlighted by our CoacHclass Team to Academy Manager, Rob Smith. He was invited to train at the Henley-based Academy Group twice a week as part of our Academy Programme. At 17, Sam made the move from Aylesbury RFC to join Chinnor RFC to experience playing adult rugby at a higher level. This move clearly helped Sam’s development, and only a year later he was invited to join the full-time London Wasps Academy.

After a small number of ‘A’ League appearances, Sam went on to make his 1st XV debut in November 2010 against Newport Gwent Dragons aged 19. Sam had already represented England at U16s and U18s levels and was a key member of the England U20 side that reached the final of the 2011 Junior World Cup. To date Sam has made 36 club appearances and scored two tries.

Sam Jones on…


Sam Jones with players from his former club Aylesbury RFC

Sam Jones with players from his former club Aylesbury RFC

His most memorable game for London Wasps?
"Probably the home games against Gloucester and London Irish in the 11/12 season. They saved our season and we would have been relegated had we not won them." Sam was awarded the Man of the Match for his performance against London Irish.

His favourite player to play with?
"Probably Wadey. I've played with him all the way through England age-groups and the Wasps Academy through to the first team. When you get the ball to him you can rely on him to do some damage; if not score."

Our CoacHclass Programme?
"The CoacHclass Programme was a real springboard for me. It was a great opportunity to practice new ideas and train with different people; and at that age you can't learn enough. The other coaches I had were good but the CoacHclass coaches taught rugby as a whole rather than basics and isolated skills. It was more technical and game-related than I was used to and that really helped with my development."

FOLLOW IN SAM JONES' FOOTSTEPS

Click here for information about our CoacHclass Programme or contact ryan.hunt@wasps.co.uk for details.

www.wasps.co.uk

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