Schmidt: Jones’ Bok role awkward for Ireland

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt admitted he is concerned about Felix Jones’ inside knowledge following his appointment as a Bok consultant during the World Cup.

SA Rugby confirmed on Wednesday that ex-Ireland international Jones will join the squad in Japan on a short-term consultancy, filling a vacancy left by Swys de Bruin.

ALSO READ: Who is Felix Jones?

While De Bruin had the task of implementing the Bok’ attacking structures, it was confirmed that Jones would instead take on a different role as requested by the players, focusing on ‘defensive patterns and structures’.

Rassie Erasmus further clarified that Jones would focus on analysing opposition defences during the tournament and find areas that the Bok attack can exploit.

A former Ireland international who won eight of his 13 Test caps under Schmidt, Jones also toured with Ireland as a coach in 2017.

Given that the Boks could potentially face Ireland in the playoffs, Schmidt admitted he is concerned over Jones’ inside information from the Ireland camp.

‘It’s an awkward situation with Felix, I’d a long chat with him yesterday,’ Schmidt told RTE Sport. ‘It’s awkward because, he came with us to Japan the last time, so he was right in amongst us. So you don’t have to ask really, do you?

‘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. 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 or South Africa or Italy that we do play against.’

Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images