Dan Jones ready to celebrate Scarlets century

11 Jan 2020
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As an accomplished cricketer Dan Jones will know all about being stuck in the nervous nineties, but after a couple of weeks on the sidelines, the fly-half is ready to take the field again and reach a deserved century of Scarlets appearances.

It is a remarkable achievement for a player who only turned 24 this week.

A local product, hailing from Carmarthen, Jones came through the academy system at Parc y Scarlets and went on to wear the No.10 jersey at the helm of Wales Under-20s’ Six Nations Grand Slam of 2016.

His regional debut had come a few years earlier, as an 18-year-old replacement in an LV= Cup tie against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park in a side that included the likes of Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Steff Hughes and Steff Evans - who, like Dan, are all playing pivotal roles in the Scarlets quest for Guinness PRO14 and Challenge Cup honours this season.

Jones had been due to raise his bat for three figures in the Boxing Day derby against the Ospreys, but picked up a rib injury in the late defeat at Rodney Parade six days earlier.

Thankfully, he hasn’t had long to wait for another opportunity.

“It has been frustrating missing the two derbies (against Ospreys and Cardiff Blues), but the boys have gone well and I’m just happy to be back. Gus (Angus O’Brien) has been excellent and hopefully he goes well again and I can finish the job.”

Jones’s words sum up the attitude of the squad this season, a united group pulling for each other.

“I have been here at the club since the 16s, it is a club that is close to my heart and always will be and it is a great place to be at the moment,” he adds.

“Reaching a century of appearances is something I am massively proud of. I grew up watching the Scarlets play and I feel lucky enough to have a hundred appearances.”

The fact that Jones has reached his ton so quickly highlights his value and this season he started the first seven matches of the campaign, memorably landing a last-gasp penalty to snatch a crucial home win against Benetton. He is also nearing a milestone of 500 points.

Jones came off the bench in Toulon to land a drop goal - his first for the Scarlets - which looked like being the match-winner until the home side struck in the dying seconds. And he is now looking forward to the return in Llanelli, having crossed for a try in the memorable victory over the French giants in the Champions Cup two seasons ago.

“That was a great occasion, a great night for the club, community and town and hopefully the fans can come out in force again. Their support means a huge amount to the team,” he says.

“This is another huge game. We have set our sights at challenging in both competitions and we are in a good spot in both.

“It has been an enjoyable season. Brad has given me the chance to express my style of play and the coaching team has given me a lot of confidence to run this team this season and lucky enough we have got results in some tight games.

“Hopefully, we can do the job against Toulon, they will know it is not easy to come to Parc y Scarlets. The boys can’t wait.”