Mark Jones will meet Rotherham Titans fans for the first time tonight at Clifton Lane – and what he has to say will be music to their ears.
The new head coach will outline his plans for the new Championship season to supporters.
And forging a passionate squad is high on the 35-year-old’s agenda, particularly when it comes to local derbies.
“What I want to do is to create an environment where the players feel passionate when they put on the Rotherham jersey,” he said. “I want them to feel that the Rotherham shirt is special and having played for the Scarlets in Llanelli I understand how important games are against your local rivals.
“So when we play Doncaster Knights, for example, I know fully what’s at stake and when you wake up on a Monday morning there’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve beaten your closest rival.
“I know Doncaster’s coach Clive Griffiths very well.
“He’s coached me, he’s coached Wales and he’s a shrewd customer, so Clive will have something up his sleeve when Rotherham play Doncaster in September and then in January.
“I’m looking forward to coaching against Clive and preparing the Rotherham squad and having been a professional sportsman myself, it becomes very important when two sets of local fans meet twice a year.
“I think it’s that rivalry which makes sport what it is,” says Jones who won the Grand Slam with Wales in 2008 and appeared in the Rugby World Cups of 2003 and 2007.