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Felix Jones agrees deal to remain with World Cup-winning Springboks

The 32-year-old is shifting into a new role as a ‘European-based coaching consultant’.

FORMER IRELAND FULLBACK Felix Jones has agreed a new deal to continue working with the Springboks following their World Cup success last year.

The ex-Munster attack coach linked up with Rassie Erasmus’ squad just before the tournament as an assistant coach, initially focusing on analysis but branching out into an influential on-pitch coaching role.

The Springboks have announced that Jones will remain part of their coaching team in 2020, although he shifts into a new role as “a European-based coaching consultant,” meaning he and his young family will not have to uproot and move to South Africa.

felix-jones-ahead-of-the-game Jones won the World Cup with the Boks last year. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

A statement from the South African Rugby Union says 32-year-old Jones “will be based in Europe to improve communication and alignment to address the reality of the number of South African players based on that continent.”

The Boks have also confirmed the widely-expected promotion of Jacques Nienaber to the role of head coach, succeeding Rassie Erasmus, who will remain centrally involved in his position as director of rugby.

Erasmus and Nienaber coached at Munster from 2016 through until late 2017, when they returned to their native South Africa to take on the Springboks job.

“Jacques is highly experienced and has worked with the Springboks on three separate occasions now so knows exactly what the job is about,” said Erasmus of their new roles.

“Jacques will be responsible for the Test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches’ box with Jacques at matches.

“I’ll still be responsible for the strategy and results with Jacques taking operational control. The structure allows the director of rugby to spend more time on other aspects of the role.”

Meanwhile, former Southern Kings boss Deon Davids becomes the new forwards coach for the Boks, after World Cup winner Matt Proudfoot departed to join Eddie Jones’ England set-up.

Ex-Springboks prop Daan Human joins as scrum coach, while remaining in the same role with the Bulls in Super Rugby. Skills specialist Mzwandile Stick remains part of the coaching staff under Erasmus and Nienaber.

The Springboks welcome Scotland to South Africa in July for their first game since winning the World Cup, while they will be keen to retain their Rugby Championship title this year, as well as enjoying a successful November tour, which includes a visit to Dublin to play Ireland.

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Murray Kinsella

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