Jon Cardinelli reports on the former Ireland full-back’s journey to the South Africa set-up

Who is Felix Jones: Ten things you should know about the Springboks assistant coach

Felix Jones is a former Munster and Ireland full-back who is currently working as an assistant coach for the Springboks.

Here are a few more facts and stats about the South Africa assistant coach.

Ten things you should know about Felix Jones

1. Jones was born on 5 August 1987 in Dublin. He attended St Andrew’s College and subsequently earned selection for the Ireland U20 side in 2007.

2. Jones had a brief stint with Leinster before moving on to Munster, where he spent the last six years of his relatively short professional career. The full-back was part of the Munster side that won the 2010-11 Magners League.

3. Jones played 13 Tests for Ireland between 2011 and 2015. He was part of the Ireland side that won the Six Nations in 2015.

Felix Jones

Felix Jones scores a try for Ireland against Georgia (Sportsfile/Getty Images)

4. In late 2015, Jones was forced to retire from the game at the age of 28. Medical staff advised the talented full-back to hang up his boots after he sustained a serious neck injury in a Pro12 match between Munster and Glasgow.

5. Jones holds a Master’s degree in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology from the University of Limerick.

Related: Felix Jones on how to read the game from full-back

6. Jones pursued a career in coaching after retiring. He impressed during his first season with Munster in 2016-17, where he worked with South African duo Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber.

Jones was subsequently drafted into the Ireland coaching team as a consultant.

7. When Springbok attack coach Swys de Bruin stepped down in 2019, Erasmus moved to secure Jones’s services – albeit as an extra defence coach – ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The Bok coaches and players hailed Jones’s eye for detail, and felt that the Irishman was more than deserving of his World Cup winner’s medal.

8. The tournament in Japan marked Jones’s first appearance at a World Cup. He missed the 2011 edition in New Zealand due to injury and was overlooked by Ireland coach Joe Schimdt for the 2015 global showpiece in England.

9. The Springboks enjoyed a week-long trophy tour upon their return to South Africa. It was atop the team bus where Erasmus, Nienaber, Jones and head of athletic performance Aled Walters linked arms and sang a familiar Irish rugby anthem, ‘Stand Up and Fight’. All four men worked at Munster in 2016 and 2017 before making the move to the Boks.

10. Jones continues to work with the Springbok coaching team – albeit from his base in Dublin. He has been mandated by Erasmus to monitor the South African players competing in the leagues across the United Kingdom and Europe.

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