Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones. Photo: SA Rugby website

Former Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones. Photo: SA Rugby website

How much will Springboks miss Felix Jones?

Although the Springboks have bolstered their coaching staff, there is no doubt that the exit of Felix Jones will be a big blow.

Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones. Photo: SA Rugby website

Former Springbok assistant coach Felix Jones. Photo: SA Rugby website

Among a host of insights that have been offered up in the Springboks’ Chasing the Sun 2 documentary, the value of the role performed by Felix Jones certainly stood out in episode two.

The 36-year-old may be relatively inexperienced as coach, but his talents were instantly recognised when he worked under Rassie Erasmus when coaching at Munster.

When Erasmus returned to South Africa in 2018, he wasted no time in recruiting Jones into the Springboks’ management group, and he quickly became one of the most popular and influential coaches.

Known for his incredible ‘rugby brain’, Jones brought expert analysis and a unique point of view into the Springboks’ planning, and this certainly came to the fore during last year’s World Cup.

During one clip from Chasing the Sun 2, for example, Jones describes how he went down a YouTube wormhole and came up with some incredible insights ahead of the crucial quarter-final clash against France.

The overall influence of Jones was not lost on social media users, who unanimously voiced what a loss Jones would be to the Springboks after opting to join up with the England national team after the World Cup.

You can seen some of the outpouring of appreciation for Felix Jones from Springbok supporters below:

Before joining England, Jones hailed Rassie Erasmus’ influence on his career after winning two World Cup titles with South Africa.

Jones has taken England’s defence coach role and quoted in an article on The Telegraph, the 36-year-old shared his experiences alongside tacticians like Erasmus.

“I was very lucky when I first went into coaching. I had a number of guys that were very influential for me, guys like Rassie to begin with, Anthony Foley, Joe Schmidt. the coaching network is actually quite open to talking about it,” Jones said.

“So you end up having quite a wealth of people that can just help you along the way. Everyone shapes you a little bit differently and you take little bits from them all.

“Everyone there [in South Africa] is very open and understands what professional rugby is. There is nothing to talk about really. Most teams are looking at other teams and seeing what certain teams do well. Not all of it is transferable. New Zealand can only play like New Zealand. South Africa can only play like South Africa. Ireland can only play like Ireland.

“But there are certain smaller things you can potentially tweak or amend to suit the way you want to play.”

Although the Springboks have said goodbye to Jones, they have bolstered their coaching group with the appointment of other international coaches Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery, while bringing former referee Jaco Peyper into a new role as Laws and Discipline Advisor.

Management team:

Rassie Erasmus: Head Coach
Charles Wessels: Team Manager
Mzwandile Stick: Assistant Coach
Daan Human: Assistant Coach
Deon Davids: Assistant Coach
Tony Brown: Assistant Coach
Jerry Flannery: Assistant Coach
Andy Edwards: Head of Athletic Performance
Sebastian Prim: Sport Scientist
Paddy Sullivan: Performance Analyst
Lindsay Weyer: Technical Analyst
Jaco Peyper: Laws and Discipline Advisor
Dr Jerome Lehlogonolo Mampane: Team Doctor
Dr Aneurin Robyn: Physiotherapist
Rene Naylor: Physiotherapist
JJ Fredericks: Logistics Manager
Zintsika Tashe: Operations Manager
Zeena Isaacs van Tonder: Media Manager