Austin Herd signed Corey Jones for the 2020 Major League Rugby season and will take on the team manager position in combination with his role as an associate player for the Austin Herd. The 26-year-old center/wing is 6’4″ and 225 lbs.
Corey is from North Little Rock, Arkansas and attended North Little Rock West where he played both Football and Baseball. In football, he never played one snap of varsity football in High school. A year later he was a walk-on to an SEC program as a receiver at the Unversity of Arkansas where he attended from 2011-2015, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education, Early Childhood Education, and Teaching Degree.
While at Arkansas he not only played Division 1 football for the Razorbacks and played rugby in the Heart of Americas Conference, and later in the Red River Rugby Conference. The team went to USA College XVs Nationals in 2015 and won the SEC Championship in 2012. The team also participated in the USA Collegiate Sevens Nationals in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017. They were also the Red River Rugby Conference Champions four times. He was the RRR Conference All-Conference Team fullback in 2017 and the team was Bowl Champions at the USA Collegiate Sevens in 2017. He also attended the American PRO Rugby Training Center and worked with Jules McCoy while at Arkansas.
He played for the Little Rock Stormers in 2016 with the team advancing to the Division 2 Nationals Elite 8. He also played with USA Rugby South Panthers against the Bahamas that year. He then went to Okinawa to play rugby and to travel and began a Summer Science Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University in 2016. That Fall he returned to the University of Arkansas through 2017, where he earned a Second Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Educational Studies.
While at Yale, he served as the Offensive Backs Rugby Coach under the USA and current Rugby United New York Head Coach Greg McWilliams. he also played rugby with the New Haven Old Blacks and rugby sevens with the CT Bulldogs.
During the 2019 season, he played with Southern Pines Rugby Club in North Carolina and also signed with Old Glory DC for their 2019 exhibition season, training, but did not play. He is currently playing with the Austin Huns prior to joining the Austin Herd for the 2020 season.
Rugby Sevens & Tens
Corey has traveled worldwide playing rugby. His webpage chronicles his travels and will be highlighted below.
Corey played at the Las Vegas Invitational 7s in 2015 with the Kansas City Blues, 2016 and 2017 with Atlantis, 2018 with Team Selects, and 2019 with the Carolina All-Stars, Plate winners. He also played in the Elite City Sevens for Philadelphia in 2015, as well as with Atlantis in the Rugbytown 7s where the team was Bowl Champions.
He played at the USA Club Sevens Nationals in 2017-2019. In 2017 the CT Bulldogs finished in sixth place. The following year the Bulldogs, based in Vail, Colorado played in the Frontier Conference and were the USA Club Sevens Champions. In 2019 he played with National Athletic Village (NAV) finishing in 11th place.
Following the 2019 USA Club Sevens Nationals, Corey attended the USA Eagles Training Camp in Chula Vista, California and was selected for Eagles Sevens at the Oktoberfest Sevens in Germany.
Other sevens tournaments include the Trinidad & Tobago Sevens in 2015 with Atlantis, the Barbados World Sevens with Atlantis in 2016 & 2018, in the Heineken Kinsale Men’s Elite Sevens in Ireland with RahRah Rugby in 2016, and the Southern Highland Sevens in Sydney, Australia with the Silktails. In 2017 and 2018 he played at the Dubai Seven, the Rugbytown Sevens with Atlantis in 2015 and with the Celtic Barbarians in 2019, as well as the Caribbean Grand Cayman Sevens in 2019.
In rugby tens, he played in Laos 10s for Babgkok Southern and in 2018 at both the Bangkok and Hong Kong Tens.
Corey has also gone on rugby XVs tours to Canada with the Ottawa Ospreys in 2018 and the CAN-AM tournament in 2016 and 2019 with the Burlington Gamblers.
Austin Herd Comments
Corey has toured with some of the most organized programs in the sevens game and will find a seamless transition to his role as the team’s manager. “I’ve been lucky to have played under some of the best managers in American rugby,” said Jones. “We’re talking Jules McCoy, Steve Lewis, and Mike Friday, so I’m excited to use all I’ve learned from them as a manager for this team.”
Corey spent the last four years globetrotting with elite sevens programs until a 2019 call-up from Mike Friday brought him to Chula Vista to join the USA 7s camp. This September, Corey earned a spot on the Eagles roster for Oktoberfest 7s in Germany.
“It’s an honor to have Todd Clever and Andrew Suniula give me the chance to transition my skills to the fifteens arena,” said Corey Jones. “I’m excited to get stuck in with a great group of men and absorb all their knowledge and tricks of the trade to become the best player I can be.”
Corey began his rugby career at the University of Arkansas as a crossover-athlete from baseball. His 6’4” 220lb frame lent him early success in college rugby, but it was his elusiveness and aerial ability that propelled him to the national spotlight and sevens programs like Atlantis, Bulldog and NAV 7s.
In 2018, Corey won a Club 7s national championship with Steve Lewis’ select-side, Bulldog rugby. In 2019, Corey returned to the Club 7s national championship with NAV 7s, earning himself a spot on the Dream Team.
Corey hopes to find similar success as a player and manager for the Austin Herd as he continues to work toward his Olympic dream.
Welcome to the Herd, Corey Jones! #jointheherd
DJCoil Rugby articles by Doug Coil are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.