Thursday 19 October 2017

Ex-Ireland international Jones to be included in Munster's new-look coaching team

Jones spent time with Harlequins last week as he looks to enhance his coaching skills and he is believed to have impressed the club's departing director of rugby Conor O'Shea. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Jones spent time with Harlequins last week as he looks to enhance his coaching skills and he is believed to have impressed the club's departing director of rugby Conor O'Shea. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Felix Jones is set to be included in Rassie Erasmus' new-look Munster coaching ticket.

The former full-back was forced to call time on his career last October due to a neck injury but the Irish Independent understands that he has been handed a skills and development officer role with the province.

Munster's new director of rugby Erasmus is in Limerick this week along with his former team-mate and former Springbok defence coach Jacques Nienaber, who is also believed to be close to finalising the details of his move to Munster.

Jones spent time with Harlequins last week as he looks to enhance his coaching skills and he is believed to have impressed the club's departing director of rugby Conor O'Shea.

The 28-year-old has kept close ties with Munster since retiring and has regularly been in and around the squad while he undertook a Master's degree in Sports Psychology at the University of Limerick.

The future of scrum coach Jerry Flannery remains uncertain and while assistant coach Brian Walsh is likely to leave, Jones and Nienaber will join Erasmus who is also set to meet with Anthony Foley for the first time this week. Like Erasmus, Nienaber is a highly regarded coach in his native South Africa. He was the defence coach of the Springboks side that reached the World Cup semi-final last year.

The SARU were keen to include Nienaber in newly-appointed coach Allister Coetzee's backroom team but he favours a move to Munster along with Erasmus whom he has worked with on several occasions including at the Stormers when they reached the Super Rugby final in 2010.

Nienaber would represent another major coup for Munster while the inclusion of Jones in the coaching team would suggest that Erasmus wants to maintain an Irish influence going forward.

Meanwhile, Munster have confirmed that Denis Hurley, BJ Botha, Cathal Sheridan, Gerhard van den Heever, Shane Buckley and Jordan Coghlan will all leave the province.

Irish Independent

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