They may be on a World Cup collision course but Conor Murray says South African have pulled off a "massive coup" after recruiting Felix Jones as a defence analyst.
Should Ireland make it out of Rugby World Cup Pool A, where they face Scotland, Japan, Russia and Samoa, they will meet the winners or runners-up from Pool B, likely to be the Springboks or New Zealand in a quarter-final.
In between the Twickenham hammering and a must-perform match against Wales this Saturday, the RWC quarter-final appears a million miles away.
But Murray, who played with Jones for Munster and Ireland, knows the Rugby Championship winners have hired a coach of real potential.
"I'm a big fan of Felix. I played with him and was coached by him and he gave 100 per cent commitment every time," Murray told RTÉ Sport at the Aviva Mini Rugby Nations Cup launch.
"He really put in the hours to become a good player and as good a coach as he is now. It’s a massive coup for South Africa.
"[South Africa coaches] Rassie [Erasmus] and Jacques [Nienaber] are big fans of his and he’ll go over there and be fully committed.
"He’ll add an awful lot to their squad but he’s a big loss to Munster, but definitely a huge gain for South Africa."
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