Cape Town - Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is concerned that South
Africa’s coaching appointment of Felix Jones will leak inside knowledge
from his camp.
Jones was reunited with former Munster boss Rassie Erasmus
this week after being confirmed in a role with the Springboks for the 2019 Rugby
But Schmidt has spoken of his disappointment that the former
international back, who was involved in a coaching capacity during
Ireland’s 2017’s Tests couldn’t have been tempted to stay in his home
“It’s an awkward situation with Felix,” he said.
“It’s a fantastic
opportunity for him to go to a World Cup with a team that are on a
massive upward swing.
“It’s awkward because - you don’t have to be a rocket scientist - he
came to Japan with us the last time, so he was right in amongst us.
“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.”
He added: “There were a couple of opportunities here, but 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, South Africa or Italy
that we do play against.
“That would mean he could be directly opposite us on the coaching bench.”
Ireland are in Pool A of the World Cup alongside Scotland, Japan,
Russia and Samoa and are favourites to top the group, while South Africa
are second favourites in Pool C, which includes New Zealand, meaning
they could well meet in what would be a mouth-watering quarter-final.