Rugby sevens has been a part of the fabric of Lee Jones’ career from first picking up the oval ball at the Selkirk Youth Club, in his home town in the Borders, to the present day, where he is currently on tour in Las Vegas with the Scotland 7s team.
The 25-year-old has a variety of domestic and international medals to show for it too, being a member of the Selkirk side who won the Kings of the Sevens Series in two consecutive years in 2007 and 2008 and a part of the team that lifted the Plate trophy at Murrayfield in 2010.
Now, in 2014, there is an opportunity for the Edinburgh Rugby winger to win selection and compete in a home Commonwealth Games and try to add to his sevens success.
“Playing sevens in the Borders was absolutely vital to my development as a player. There is a real culture and great infrastructure for the game down there, which gave me grounding in the sport,
“Now I’m in the national sevens team and in contention for a squad aiming to win a medal in Glasgow.” said Jones.
“In the Borders, there is a Kings of the Sevens Series that runs at senior level and in the same fashion at under-18 level, so growing up I had the chance to play the abbreviated game every Saturday and Sunday, during the spring.
“My coaches also really bought into it, which helped the team become successful. Sevens magnifies individual skills and demands you to be confident in space. The grounding it has given me has definitely contributed to where I have got to in my career.”
In February 2012, Jones was capped by the Scotland national team, for four of their RBS 6 Nations fixtures that season, this was preceded the previous year by a full-time contract with Edinburgh Rugby, which in turn followed selection for Team Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Jones continued: “It was one of the highlights of my career, so far, to compete in a multi-sport event. It’s a different experience altogether from an IRB tournament and to be part of the wider Team Scotland was really valuable.
“It’s really interesting to see how other athletes operate and train during competition and being in such close proximity meant there was a good collective spirit throughout the fortnight.
“We spent a lot of time with the hockey and boxing teams and had the chance to go and support the cyclists and gymnasts. It was great knowing that you could give your support to your team-mates and then when you were competing they’d be right behind you.
“I’d love to have the opportunity to compete at Glasgow, it would be extra special being selected for Scotland 7s for that tournament and experience that same team spirit as Delhi, but also with the whole nation there supporting you.”
You can follow Lee on Twitter @LeeJones11
Photo Credit: Scottish Rugby