Rugby Union: Wales' surprise weapon unveiled

Click to follow
The Independent Online
DERWYN JONES, Cardiff's 6ft 10in, near-19st second row, has been included in Wales's World Cup squad, with the clear intention of his being the surprise package for South Africa in 1995.

Jones, 23, is unknown on the international circuit, and it is clear Wales are thinking of him as their secret weapon. 'Derwyn is certainly not in the squad to make up the numbers,' Bob Norster, the Welsh manager, said. 'From being a relative novice he has made tremendous progress over the past two seasons and he is included on merit.' Also added to the Welsh squad that toured Canada and the South Seas this summer are Robert Jones at scrum-half and the Neath hooker Barrie Williams.

Norster, once one of Wales's greatest line-out exponents, says he has personally monitored the strapping youngster and was extremely impressed with his performance for Cardiff against Llanelli in May's Welsh Cup final. 'There are areas of his game which he has got to work on,' Norster said. 'But he is keen and committed and if he continues to make progress he will be a very useful addition.'

What Norster already knows is that Jones's two-handed jumping could be crucial, particularly when facing physically bigger countries. He usually dwarfs opponents and is a first-rate ball-winner.

But ball-winning is not everything and the plan now will be to improve Jones in support and mauling and to make him more streetwise. Jones's coach, Alex

Evans, has no doubts that he will make an impact. 'He's not only one of the biggest men in the game, but he has tremendous ability. I'm confident of his future. . . and that could come sooner than people think.'

Wales certainly hope so. They possess world-class backs, but there has been a question mark about their physical presence. If Jones solves that problem they will not be the outsiders in South Africa.

WELSH WORLD CUP SQUAD: Backs: M A Rayer (Cardiff), A Clement (Swansea), I C Evans (Llanelli, capt), D Manley (Pontypridd), W T Proctor (Llanelli), G Wilkins (Bridgend), N G Davies (Llanelli), M R Hall (Cardiff), N Boobyer (Llanelli), N R Jenkins (Pontypridd), A Davies (Cardiff), R H St J B Moon (Llanelli), R N Jones (Swansea), P John (Pontypridd). Forwards: R L Evans (Llanelli), I M Buckett (Swansea), J D Davies (Neath), H Williams-Jones (Llanelli), G R Jenkins (Swansea), R C McBryde (Swansea), B H Williams (Neath), P T Davies (Llanelli), P Arnold (Swansea), G O Llewellyn (Neath), A H Copsey (Llanelli), D Jones (Cardiff), H T Taylor (Cardiff), E W Lewis (Llanelli), L S Quinnell (Llanelli), S Williams (Neath), R Collins (Pontypridd).

Comments