Former Ireland international Felix Jones to join England’s coaching staff

Felix Jones is joining the England set-up

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Former Ireland full-back Felix Jones will join England coach Steve Borthwick's backroom team after this year's World Cup.

Jones has been part of the South Africa coaching ticket since 2018 and currently works as their European based scout and attack coach.

The 35-year-old former full-back, who won 13 caps between 2011 and 2015, was involved in the Springboks' World Cup win and Lions series success having followed Rassie Erasmus from Munster.

South Africa Rugby today broke the news that he was departing his role for family reasons, to take up a job with England.

“While we are saddened by the decision, we know how difficult it was for him to make that call and we fully understand the reasons," SA Rugby director of rugby Erasmus said.

"He’s been an asset to the Springboks in the last few years and the way he has evolved in his role and willingly took on additional responsibilities to ensure that the team functioned as optimally as possible in his areas of expertise, has been admirable.

“We know Felix will remain fully committed to the Springboks’ cause and give everything as we attempt to defend our Rugby World Cup title in France, and hopefully we can make it a special and memorable send-off for him later this year.”

Jones had been on a shortlist of contenders for the vacant Leinster coaching role, but instead will join England along with another former Munster and South Africa coach Aled Waters who looks after the team's strength and conditioning.

He said he'd always look back fondly on his time with the 'Boks.

“Coaching the Springboks is one of the biggest privileges in rugby and I intend to do everything I can to ensure the team is successful until the day my contract comes to its natural end,” Jones said.

“The last four years has been an incredible journey for me and my family, both professionally and personally, I am indebted to so many people at the Springboks and in South Africa for that.

“My commitment to the Springboks until the end of the Rugby World Cup is unquestionable, and Rassie, Jacques (Nienaber – Springbok head coach) and the entire Springbok team know that.

“The next five months are going to be exciting and demanding, and I’m looking forward to preparing for the World Cup with this coaching team.”

"Our immediate focus is on preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2023," said Borthwick.

"We are continuing to build our programme to be in a position to compete to be world champions once again. At the same time, I also want to ensure we are preparing for long term success for this England team, and I am excited that a coach as talented as Felix is joining next year.

"Felix has been competing at the top of world rugby during his four years with South Africa and will bring invaluable experience to our set up. Like with Aled Walters, Felix was an integral part of the team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

"Together with Richard Wigglesworth and Kevin Sinfield, we are putting in place a coaching team who have spent their careers at the highest level competing for trophies. That is exactly what we want for this England team."