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How former Bok staff member silenced England dressing room

INTERVIEW: England coach Steve Borthwick has lauded new defence coach Felix Jones, jokingly wondering whether or not the Irishman sleeps.


The 36-year-old former Munster wing started as an assistant coach with the Springboks in 2019 and was also responsible for liaising with their European-based players.

He left the Bok coaching panel – headed by Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and now Ireland-based coach Jacques Nienaber – following that side’s successful World Cup title defence in October.

he has hugely impressed both Borthwick and the wider England camp since his arrival, having taken over the defence role from Kevin Sinfield, who’s been moved to skills.

Judging by Borthwick’s comments at the Six Nations launch in Dublin, Jones has made a strong impression in his short time in the set-up.

“He’s one of the most intense people I have ever met,” said Borthwick.

“This guy, I don’t know whether he sleeps.


“He has the knowledge [about the game].

“He understands [all] the areas of the game.

“We were sat down the other day looking at some stuff on his laptop, where he was picking apart an area of the game.

“Picking it apart, an area of contact.


“He showed things that I don’t think I’ve ever heard any other coach discuss.

“So I think he has an incredible work ethic and that knowledge is groundbreaking that he has.”

And it’s not only Borthwick who seems to be under Jones’ spell, with players said to very on the same page about their new coach.

“And when he presented to the players last week, the room was deathly silent.

“When a coach is presenting up front, I usually come down the sides just to be able to scan across the players.

“Hardly blinking, and transfixed by what he is saying.

“That ability to do that is superb.

“So work ethic, incredible knowledge and grasp of concepts and he has the players’ attention.”


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