Wednesday, 12 February 2014

What is Kingsley Jones doing?


The curious case of Russia’s Head Coach Kingsley Jones, who appears to be more committed to TV punditry roles on Scrum V than he does coaching his national side.

After Kingsley Jones got involved in Russia's debut World Cup campaign in 2011, the former Wales flanker took over as head coach after the tournament, signing a 4 year contract to lead them into the 2015 World Cup. However it didn't take long into his role for him to show his complete commitment to his deal and publicly link himself to the post of Cardiff Blues head coach spot, and him seemingly wanting to spend more time in Wales than Russia has been a theme of his time in charge.

Soon after his come get me plea to the Blues, he joined Lyn Jones and London Welsh as forwards coach. For comparison, in 2006 the JRFU sacked their coach Jean-Pierre Elissalde for taking on a role with Bayonne but curiously the RUR don't seem bothered. On top of assisting Lyn Jones, he has a regular on Scrum V on Sundays as well as commentating on occasions for Sky and you begin to question how much he is really working with Russia as Head Coach.

He clearly isn't in Russia for a load of the domestic league and isn't watching the players, at least not first hand anyway, and only really seems to turn up for the Test matches and then go away again, this season to the Newport Gwent Dragons as opposed to London Welsh. But even then he doesn't even seem to turn up to all the matches either, last September Russia played a friendly with a "Russian Barbarians" side and Kingsley wasn't listed as part of the coaching staff that he is supposedly "head coach" of.
Kingsley Jones was on Scrum V
last Sunday not long after his
side's 34-3 defeat to Romania

Now this week, Russia played in Nebug on Saturday, then on Sunday also happened to be on Welsh rugby show Scrum V, filmed in Wales. That the flight is estimated to be around 12-14 hours, considering that he must of likely just jetted off straight after his side's big 34-3 thumping and not bothering to spend time coaching or analysing his team after the match. Not particularly what you want from a national team coach.

Whatever he is doing whilst he has been working with the side though clearly hasn't been having any great effect. Since Kingsley took over Russia haven't once come within even 7 of a World Cup nation, and in those 9 ENC and November games against top 18 opposition his side has only scored 6 tries whilst having conceded 36 tries and have an average losing margin of 25 points.

When you compare Kingsley's job share effort as Russia coach, compared to that of virtually every other coach of a Tier 2 nation, it is weak and you'd hope at the very least Russia aren't paying an awful lot, from the outside he appears to be more of a consultant than "head coach".


  1. He is a rubbish coach. Should feel ashamed for taking any money for the effort he's put in with Russia, I can't think of a side that has regressed so much. They had thoughts of challenging Georgia before his tenure and actually beat Romania, not both games are forgone conclusions as a loss. Howard Thomas has been poor as well. The RWC 7s were a disgrace. The Russian Rugby Union needs a complete overhaul.

  2. To be a rubbish coach, he would have to actually coach first. He just looks not interested in the job, he's just collecting a paycheck and drooling at every job opening in the UK.