Welshman main contender as Russian rugby coach

Russia's rugby team has backed former Welsh flanker Kingsley Jones to become their new head coach.

The Bears arrived back in Moscow on Monday, after failing to reach the knock-out stages of their debut World Cup in New Zealand.

Jones is currently the team's assistant coach and is tipped to replace Nikolay Nerush at the helm. The latter stepped down following the Russia’s last pool game against Australia.

“I made the decision to quit the team before the tournament,” Nerush told RT. “So it’s not connected with our results at the World Cup. I’ve been heading the team for three years now and the side needs new inspiration and new challenges. Probably, appointing an experienced foreigner will be a good choice."

And the players all believe that Jones should be this “foreigner”, and the appropriate replacement.

“I hope Kingsley Jones stays,” Vasily Artemyev, Russia’s wing, said. “I think he can take the head coach’s position if he’s offered it. I think he can still share and give a lot to this team. He’s a top class professional. I’m sure he can do a really good job and continue what Nikolay [Nerush] started.”

Despite defeats in all four of their games – to USA (13-6), Italy (53-17), Ireland (62-12), and Australia (68-22), Russia’s debut at the Rugby World Cup received very positive response at home as the team proved they have potential.

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