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New roles for Scarlets duo

Wales and Scarlets winger Mark Jones has been forced to retire after failing to recover from a knee injury suffered on international duty last November.

The 30-year-old will now take on the role of skills coach at the Scarlets after medics confirmed his playing days had been ended by a third major knee injury.

Jones will be joined on the Scarlets management team by Simon Easterby, who takes over as defence coach after he was also forced to retire with a knee injury.

Easterby, the former Ireland flanker, had moved into the role of player-coach last summer and never fully recovered from a knee injury suffered in December.

The two former Scarlets captains will join newly-appointed forwards coach Robin McBryde in working under director of rugby Nigel Davies.

"It is a double-edged announcement for me and it has taken some time to consider and I accept that I am hanging up my boots finally," said Jones, who won the last of his 47 Test caps against the United States in 2009.

"Ultimately the decision has been made for me and I have to retire from the game. It does feel as though it has come a little prematurely and I was hitting some decent form last season before the injury.

"It has been a great honour and privilege to play for my country and to be such a big part of this great club for many years, and I will look back and feel hugely proud of what I've achieved and experienced in rugby across the world.

"I am really excited about the challenges ahead and what I have to offer the Scarlets now as a new coach within the set-up."

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