9:02am Thursday 23rd January 2014
SCRUM-HALF Luc Jones hopes that an impressive display for Newport Gwent Dragons against Northampton will lead to a busy few weeks of international action.
The Wales Under-20s number 9 is set for his first regional start against the Saints on Saturday, six days before a Six Nations opener against Italy in Colwyn Bay.
Uncapped Jones, 19, is battling for the start against the young Azzurri with Tom Williams of Cardiff Blues and Connor Lloyd of the Scarlets.
And a fine display against powerful Aviva Premiership opposition would give a timely nudge to Under-20s head coach Byron Hayward.
"A big aim for this season is to try and play a few games for the Under-20s and get into the squad for the Junior World Championship," said Jones.
"I hope to get a few games (in the Six Nations), cement my place and play well enough to make an impression on the management.
"The Northampton game is a big opportunity for me, if I play well I can impose myself on the minds of the Under-20s coaches."
Jones penned a one-year deal at Rodney Parade last summer after a fine season with his hometown club Neath, where the supporters club voted him their young player of 2012/13.
He has made three appearances off the bench, versus the Scarlets and Wasps in the LV= Cup and against Bath in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
And the teenager, who is studying sport and PE at Cardiff Metropolitan University, is not short of those that can offer advice at the start of his burgeoning career.
But his dad, director of rugby and former Wales flanker Lyn, is not the main source of sporting pearls of wisdom.
"I don't really see him much in the day because Darren (Edwards, head coach) looks after the backs," said Luc. "And you go home and switch off and talk about family life rather than rugby, we leave that at Rodney Parade."
Instead there are plenty of top tips passed on by Edwards, himself a former scrum-half, and experienced 9s Richie Rees and Wayne Evans, who are helping to bring on Jones and Jonathan Evans.
"Wayne and Richie have been there and done it so I am trying to pick up little bits of information off them," he said. "I've learnt quite a lot and I am sure I will learn more."
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