Joe Schmidt describes Felix Jones' Springboks appointment as 'awkward'

Felix Jones has played 13 Tests for Ireland between 2011 and 2015
Felix Jones has played 13 Tests for Ireland between 2011 and 2015

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt described the appointment of Felix Jones in the backroom staff of South Africa ahead of the World Cup campaign as an 'awkward' situation.

Jones, who has played 13 Tests for Ireland has already worked with the national side during the 2017 Tests but will now reunite with the director of rugby Rassie Erasmus after the duo previously were part of Munster Rugby.

“It’s an awkward situation with Felix. It’s a fantastic opportunity for him to go to a World Cup with a team that are on a massive upward swing.

“It’s awkward because – you don’t have to be a rocket scientist – he came to Japan with us the last time, so he was right in amongst us.

“He was with us, he’s seen everything that we deliver and would have a great knowledge of even the language we use in our camp, so it’s awkward for us.”

There is a possibility that Ireland might face the Springboks in the quarter-final and Schmidt hopes Jones' association with South Africa doesn't create a hurdle for them.

“There were a couple of opportunities here, but I’d be a massive fan of what Felix has got to offer in the future, and it will be a great learning experience for him.

“I just hope that we don’t suffer as a consequence because he’s a smart coach, he already knows a lot about us and if we do get to a quarter-final it has to be either New Zealand, South Africa or Italy that we do play against.

“That would mean he could be directly opposite us on the coaching bench.”


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