Words: Harry Jones. Pic: Ian Lovell
Wales’ most capped Wheelchair international player Alan Caron has been appointed as head coach for the Wales Rugby League Wheelchair international side for a second time.
Having been involved in Wheelchair Rugby League in Wales since its inception, the 45-year old made history in 2012 by being named the side’s inaugural head coach and captain ahead of the Four Nations in Hull, where he became Wales Wheelchair heritage player #1. He captained and coached Wales for that one tournament, leading them to two wins out of three.
His other sporting achievements include being elected assistant coach and team manager of both Great Britain U23s and Ireland Wheelchair Basketball international sides. He has also had experience working as a player and behind-the-scenes with London Wheelchair Rugby Club who were linked with the original incarnation of London Broncos.
Caron also made history in 2013 when he was named as inaugural coach for North Wales Crusaders. He departed in 2018 to become player/coach for Hereford Harriers and he still holds this position today. Alan’s international playing career came to an end in style in 2022 as he was named in the international side for the World Cup, going on to score in the side’s semi-final defeat against England. That was his 42nd Welsh cap, also a record for most caps for an individual Welsh international rugby league side, and a joint world record for Wheelchair Rugby League caps.
Stephen Jones, who was head coach of Wales for 31 matches between 2016 and 2022, is now the Development Manager for Wales Wheelchair Rugby League. He will be taking over as team manager for the international side on an interim basis, replacing Mark Andrew Jones. Gary Taylor continues in his role as assistant coach.
Upon his appointment, Caron said: “I am very honoured to be appointed head coach of Wales Wheelchair Rugby League. I am very thankful to the board and Steve for appointing me and to step into his shoes as he moves into a new role. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and to continue to develop the game in this country.”
Additional members of Caron’s back room staff will be announced in due course.