Irish coach turns down Bok offer
NEWS: One of Ireland's most highly-rated trainers has declined an offer to join the Springbok coaching staff.
According to a report in the Irish Independent Felix Jones is the man who turned down an offer from Rassie Erasmus to become the Springboks' skills coach.
He opted instead to remain with Munster.
Since cutting his contract with Munster short earlier this season, and returning to become South Africa's Director of Rugby, Erasmus has already secured the services of the province's head of athletic performance Aled Walters.
The Irish newspaper reports that Walters was not the only member of Munster's backroom team that Erasmus targeted in an audacious swoop, with Jones being his main target.
Erasmus had lined up Jones as the Boks skills coach, but having signed a new two-year contract with Munster last year, the former fullback rejected his advances and will continue as Munster's backs and attack coach.
During the transitional period, until Johann van Graan came in, Jones took on Erasmus' coaching responsibilities.
Jones' reputation has been rapidly growing since Joe Schmidt recommended him for the position at Munster after he was forced to prematurely retire with a neck injury.
The 30-year old spent time with Schmidt's Ireland on the tour to Japan in June last year and is seen as a central part of Ireland's plans going forward.
Once it became clear that Erasmus would return home, Munster had been resigned to losing defence guru Jacques Nienaber, and although they made a significant offer for him to remain with the province, he followed his life-long friend back to the Springbok setup.
Munster are, however, believed to be disappointed by Erasmus trying to lure several other members of their backroom staff with him.