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Michael Jones (rugby union)

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Name  Michael Jones
Positions  Flanker
Weight  98 kg
Height  1.85 m
Role  Coach

Michael Jones (rugby union) wwwespnscrumcomPICTURESCMS9009141jpg
Education  University of Auckland, Henderson High School

Sir Michael Niko Jones (born 8 April 1965) is a New Zealand former rugby union player and coach. He was nicknamed 'the Iceman' or 'Ice' because of the number of icepacks he needed for injuries. He was named by Rugby World magazine as the third best All Black of the 20th century after Colin Meads and Sean Fitzpatrick. John Hart, who first selected him for Auckland, called him "almost the perfect rugby player".

Contents

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Michael jones part 1


Early years

Michael Jones (rugby union) MUD GLORY MICHAEL JONES 1991 YouTube

Jones was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and grew up in Te Atatu South, a suburb in the west of Auckland, attending Edmonton Primary, Rangeview Intermediate and Henderson High School. His talent for playing was discovered early, as a 10-year-old tackling 15- to 18-year-olds at the weekend kick-abouts at the primary school. He played for the primary school team when still in standard one, when he was three years younger than many of the older children and by the time he attended Henderson High School, he was already well-known locally. He then helped turn a mediocre high school first XV into a successful rugby team that could compete with Auckland Grammar and Kelston Boys High (the regional heavyweights) for the first time. He played for the local Waitemata Rugby Club and it wasn't long before the Auckland representative team (coached by John Hart) took notice.

Playing career

Michael Jones (rugby union) New Zealand legend Michael Jones on the All Blacks religion and

Jones played initially as an open side flanker, and made his provincial debut for Auckland aged 20 in the 1985 National Provincial Championship, scoring three tries against South Canterbury. He also played for New Zealand Colts. He made his international debut for Western Samoa, for whom he qualified through his mother, in 1986. After one cap for Samoa, and a British tour with the New Zealand Barbarians in 1987, he first played for New Zealand in the first game of the inaugural World Cup in the same year. He scored the second try of the tournament and played in four games, including the final, as New Zealand went on to win the competition.

Jones's career was blighted by injuries, notably two serious knee injuries (in 1989 and 1997) and a broken jaw in 1993. Due to this he only played 55 international games during a period when New Zealand played almost 90 internationals, even though he was usually first choice whenever fit.

His international career was also affected by his strong Christian beliefs, as he refused to play on Sundays. Although he was selected for the 1987 and 1991 All Black World Cup squads, he missed three Sunday games in the 1991 tournament due to his religious beliefs. Jones was omitted from the 1995 squad as he would have been unavailable for the quarterfinal and semifinal games. He was once asked how a Christian such as himself could be such an uncompromising tackler. In reply he quoted a phrase from the Bible: is better to give than receive.

Jones was a member of the successful Auckland and Auckland Blues teams which dominated New Zealand rugby in the late 1980s and 1990s. Between 1985 and 1999 Auckland won 9 NPC titles, 5 Super 6 championships, and defended the Ranfurly Shield a record 61 consecutive times (between 1985 and 1993), while the Blues won the first two Super 12 competitions in 1996 and 1997. In 1997 he succeeded Zinzan Brooke as captain of Auckland and the Blues.

He was an outstanding openside flanker, and scored 13 international tries. Later in his career, and after his injuries had reduced the speed which characterised his early career, he played predominantly as a blindside flanker or number eight. In 1998 he was dropped from the New Zealand team at the age of 33 after a loss over Australia and retired at the end of the 1999 season.

Coaching career

On 7 April 2004 Jones was appointed national coach of Samoa, replacing New Zealander John Boe. He had previously served as Boe's assistant coach during the 2003 World Cup. In 2007, just after the players flew out to New Zealand to prepare for their tour of South Africa, there was speculation that Jones had resigned as coach. However, after talks with the Manu Samoa Union over whether his role should become full-time until the World Cup, Jones joined the team on tour.

Legacy

Jones has been a role model, particularly for Pacific Islander youth in New Zealand, and in 1990 he received a New Zealand Medal for service to the Pacific Island community. He graduated from the University of Auckland with three degrees: B.A., M.A. and Bplan. In 2003 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. He has been given the matai title (Samoan chiefly title) of La'auli and Savae from his aiga (extended family) .

References

Michael Jones (rugby union) Wikipedia


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