Felix Jones says he is learning from the best in the business as he tackles his new coaching role with three-time Guinness PRO12 champions Munster.
Former Munster utility-back Jones, who made 90 appearances for the Men in Red, captaining them on several occasions, was made a technical coach after being forced to retire on medical grounds.
Incoming director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has brought in former South African defence coach Jacques Nienaber, as well as ex-Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery, and Jones is now focussed on helping Munster better last year’s sixth place Guinness PRO12 finish.
The 29-year-old says he has been in conversation with former Munster team-mate Jason Holland, who is now assistant coach to newly-crowned Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes.
“I speak with several people down there [in New Zealand], including Jason Holland. He’s a pretty big game this weekend. I would love an opportunity to go down there,” he explained.
“The IRFU are very supportive of their coaches getting exposed to new environments and coming back with new ideas.
“New Zealand rugby is at the pinnacle of world rugby and to get a chance to learn from some of the best teams in the world would be great.”
As a player, Jones won 15 caps for Ireland and he insists his entire focus is on helping young players follow that path to the highest level for province and country.
He said: “I am not saying things now that I wouldn’t have as a player. Anything I do is dedicated solely to improving that player as an individual within the team environment.
“Some of the young guys coming through would have had no reference point to playing with me. In a couple of years’ time, if I am still here, the guys will only know me as Felix the coach.
“I am being asked to look after a lot of our attacking fundamentals. I get to work closely with our back three, also with the backs in terms of improving skill sets and also in analysis work.”
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