Super Rugby Pacific: Wales rugby legend Stephen Jones embraces new challenge on Moana Pasifika coaching staff

A phone call from Tana Umaga was all it took to convince Welsh rugby legend Stephen Jones to swap life in the UK for a stint in Super Rugby Pacific with Moana Pasifika.

The former Wales first-five has joined Umaga's newlook coaching group as an assistant, ready to embrace the Pacific culture and enhance his own coaching stocks.

Adjusting to a New Zealand summer is just one of the challenges thrown his way in his new role in Auckland, but possible sunburn aside, Jones, 46, is relishing his latest coaching opportunity.

Stephen Jones as Wales assistant coach.
Stephen Jones as Wales assistant coach. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Working with great people is what it's about and I feel very honoured and privileged to have the opportunity here," he told Newshub.

The opportunity came about through one phone call, with Umaga on the other end of the line, keen to get the former Welsh flyhalf onto his staff. That was really all it took for Jones to say yes.

"I was very honoured to get the call," he said. "It didn't take me long to make up my mind, if I'm honest.

"To coach in Super Rugby was something that was a no-brainer."

Despite spending four years as Wales attack coach - and 13 as a player - Jones clearly isn't phased by a switch to southern hemisphere rugby.

"Ninety-five percent of my international rugby, I'd been coach be either Graham Henry, Steve Hansen or Warren Gatland, so I've got a pretty good idea about what southern hemisphere rugby is about," said Jones, who played more than 100 tests for Wales and British & Irish Lions.

For all his knowledge, Jones still has plenty to learn. Moana Pasifika are a different team, with a unique culture, which he hopes will shine through in their rugby.

"What excites me is the standard, the ability to move ball quickly," he said. "They play with width and play with tempt... it's brilliant."

Jones is keen to  get the most out of that potential, as Moana Pasifika eye another step forward in Super Rugby.