Assistant coach Felix Jones will remain with the Springboks for the upcoming World Cup, and will return to Europe when his four-year contract ends.
Durban — The good news is that the Springboks will still have the services of assistant coach Felix Jones for the upcoming World Cup, the not-so-good news is that the highly-rated Jones will then take his considerable rugby acumen to the England coaching staff.
The Irishman has said he will not renew his four-year contract with the Boks at the end of the year because he wants to take his young family back to Europe.
Jones, a former Ireland fullback, joined the Boks in 2019 as a defence consultant and played a key role in their World Cup triumph.
“It’s a big loss for the Springboks to lose a coach of Felix’s calibre,” said SA director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.
“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. He’s been an asset to the Springboks 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 has been admirable.
“We know Felix will remain fully committed to the Springboks’ cause and give everything as we attempt to defend our World Cup title in France, and hopefully we can make it a special and memorable send-off for him later this year.”
Jones said his time with the Boks will always remain one of the highlights of his career.
“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,” said Jones.
“The last four years have 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 World Cup is unquestionable, and Rassie, Jacques (Nienaber – Bok 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.”