We admit it's ridiculous to daydream about a prospective World Cup quarterfinal against South Africa less than a week after Ireland shipped 8 tries against England, but allow us this indulgence this Wednesday morning. Let's imagine the Twickenham massacre serves as some sort of wake-up call for Ireland, normal service resumes, Ireland beats Scotland and Japan and Ireland in the World Cup and are rewarded with a quarterfinal against South Africa.
Should that hypothetical match come to pass, there will be a very familiar face working on the other side of aisle as Ireland take on South Africa. It has been confirmed this morning that Felix Jones, former Ireland international and most recently Munster backs coach, will be joining the South Africa coaching set-up for the World Cup after attack coach Swys de Bruin was forced to withdraw for medical reasons. It was Springboks Director of Coaching Rassie Erasmus was at Munster when Jones took his first job in coaching in 2016 and Erasmus clearly thinks Jones has something to contribute as South Africa look to continue to build on their imperious summer.
Erasmus told the Springboks website the following:
“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.
Felix will bring a fresh eye to our analysis and planning and I am looking forward to his input,” said Erasmus.
“He is a real student of the game and I believe the players will benefit from his contribution.”
Sadly Munster's loss will be South Africa's gain.