Sunday 20 August 2017

Sweetnam: Jones' input is vital for us

Sweetnam returned from a knee injury two weeks ago. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Sweetnam returned from a knee injury two weeks ago. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Munster winger Darren Sweetnam says having someone like Felix Jones in the Munster management team is vital for the province's backs.

Sweetnam returned from a knee injury two weeks ago, but started last weekend against Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium, and he will be hoping to add to the impressive form he showed before he picked up the unfortunate injury. Prior to the knock he took against Leinster in December, Sweetnam had scored three tries in 17 appearances, but had also received a call-up to Joe Schmidt's Ireland training squad in November.

And according to the Cork flyer, the influence of Jones and his insistence on getting the small details right is a big reason behind his success.

"When I was in the academy, Felix was the ultimate professional," said Sweetnam. "As a player, he did everything so professionally and I think he carried that into his coaching as well.

"He has such great knowledge of the game especially for back three players, he really helps us and has been a massive addition to the Munster coaching set-up."

Jones was forced to retire from the game due to a neck injury last season and he was quickly shifted into a coaching role in the group. After the arrival of Rassie Erasmus and the reshuffle that ensued, Jones was handed he position of technical coach with responsibility of developing the province's attacking game. The move has reaped rewards for the players, says Sweetnam.

"He's so hard-working, I'd say he'd be up till all hours looking at them. His attention to detail is excellent and it shows."

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