Former Munster and Ireland star Felix Jones has joined the South Africa coaching team ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Jones had most recently been backs coach with Munster, and he now joins the Springboks, who are under the stewardship of Director of Coaching Rassie Erasmus.
Jones will be a defence consultant in the South African set-up, filling a vacancy left by Swys de Bruin, who had to depart his role for medical reasons.
South Africa kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign against the All Blacks on September 21st in Yokohama.
They are also set to face Namibia, Conor O'Shea's Italy, and Canada in the pool phase of the tournament, which they last won in France in 2007.
Jones was part of Ireland's Six Nations-winning squad in 2015 and also played at the Sevens Rugby World Cup ten years ago.
Erasmus said the players welcomed Jones' arrival into the coaching team.
“I spoke to the players after Swys decided to step down and the consensus was that we didn’t want a new attack coach."
“The feeling was that bringing in someone in that role now with new ideas now would be destabilising at this last stage of the preparations.
“But they were interested in having more analysis of defensive patterns and structures to assist in breaking down the opposition.”
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 28, 2019
Jones won 13 Irish caps but stopped playing at the age of 28 to go straight into Munster's backroom team as a technical coach.
His role was ultimately expanded to backs and attacks coach, and the 32-year-old also assisted Joe Schmidt with Ireland's tour of Japan in June 2017.
Erasmus, himself a former Director of Rugby and Head Coach with Munster, says Jones will bring a fresh perspective to the South African build-up for Japan.
“Felix will bring a fresh eye to our analysis and planning and I am looking forward to his input."
“He is a real student of the game and I believe the players will benefit from his contribution.”
South Africa have had back-to-back wins over Argentina as part of their preparation for the World Cup. That followed an impressive 35-17 win over Australia and 16-16 draw with the All Blacks in July.