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Owen Jones started the 2010/2011 season player/coaching Media. Then Media hired Englishman Andy Brown. Brown was set to return to the Philadelphia-area club this fall, but he experienced visa issues and was denied entrance to the country. So, Jones and his All American brother Gareth are co-player/coaching Media to open the new season.
Both of the Jones’ are in grad school, but have night class on opposite nights.
“The club’s told us that there is another coach coming in,” said Owen. “Who it is I don’t know, so we have three weeks now where my younger brother Gareth’s coaching on Tuesday nights and I’m coaching on Thursday nights.”
The situation is not ideal, but as Media goes into their season opener against the Maryland Exiles Saturday, they’re not entering uncharted waters.
“Last season we started off against the Exiles as well, and we were in a very similar situation where we didn’t have a coach, we did have a coach, we didn’t, and we ended up winning that game,” said Owen. “We put up a lot of points in that game, but we also gave up a lot of points, so our focus has been defense, defense, defense.”
A perk to having the Jones brothers in the fold is their Temple connection. Owen played for the Owls, Gareth starred for them and Owen currently coaches the Lady Owls. That connection has drawn in some young talent.
“Media made a big push the past summer and an even bigger push this summer to have a very intense 7s summer program, and we opened it up to all the university players to come join, so all that hard work this is kind of the first year where we’re seeing the results of it,” said Owen.
“People know the Media name locally, they’re staying here after college for jobs, and they’re coming out and sticking with us.”
The biggest college recruit Media reeled in this summer? That’s a no-brainer, it’s Gareth. He’s an Eagle prospect who spent the spring playing for semi-professional Young Munster in Limerick, Ireland. He won’t play against the Exiles Saturday, nor will he play in the next game, as he’s recovering from an assortment of injuries he’s picked up during several months of constant rugby.