Counties to honour rugby icon
Global rugby icon and proud Welshman Phil Kingsley Jones is to be honoured by Counties Manukau Rugby.
Jones has decided that, after 15 years of service to Counties Manukau Rugby, it is time to blow the final whistle on an illustrious career with the union.
He has been made an ambassador of the provincial union he loves and the lounge in which he has entertained thousands of people will now be named the Phil Kingsley Jones Lounge.
‘‘I love Counties, and anyone who knows me would tell you that,’’ Jones said.
‘‘I have put my heart and soul into this union over the years that I have been here, but now it is appropriate to step back to be able to spend more time with my family. I am honoured the union is naming the lounge after me and making me an ambassador.
‘‘I will still do my public speaking and help people, but I think that the time is right to let someone else take over the reins, however I will never be far away if they need me for anything. The last eight years have been a fantastic time of success and growth for Counties with the championship win, the historic Ranfurly Shield victory and staying in the premiership being some of the highlights.
‘‘I want to thank my beautiful family, the people I have worked with, including the players who I have a special relationship with, and the Counties sponsors and supporters who I have a huge love for. We have the best union in the country and I have been lucky to work with such great people.’’
Former Steelers and Maori captain Errol Brain said he was thrilled to hear the lounge would be named after Jones.
‘‘To hear that Counties is going to name the lounge after Phil and he will be the union ambassador is an absolute reflection and recognition of all of the work Phil has done for the union over a very long period of time.
Steelers co-captain Augustine Pulu said: ‘‘His wisdom, knowledge and support for the players and the Union has been unreal.’’