Jones keen to lay down marker on Irish summer tour

Felix Jones: Summer tour opens the door for other lads to come in and play a few games

Felix Jones is relishing Ireland’s summer tour of North America following two injury-hit seasons.

Since joining Munster in 2009, Jones has only been fit for limited spells and was last capped by his country in August 2011 against France. An ankle injury picked up that day ruled him out for six months and also ruined his hopes of making the 2011 World Cup squad.

But, towards the end of this season, he played a key role in Munster’s run to the Heineken Cup semi-final and was rewarded with a new two year contract extension in February.

“We ended the season with Munster with quite a bit of disappointment by not getting to the Rabo playoffs and then losing to Clermont. But on a personal front, I was pleased to come through the season without any injuries.

“It’s great to be back involved in the whole Irish setup. This is the level you want to get to. Obviously I fell out of that for the last two years with the foot and shoulder injuries — it’s been a long slog to get back but hopefully I can go well out on the tour.”

Jones and his team-mates are fully aware of the importance of the summer tour ahead of the arrival of Joe Schmidt and the autumn internationals.

“With a couple of the senior guys gone away with the Lions, it opens the door for other lads to come in and play a few games and hopefully put themselves into contention. The tour is massive for us. We’ll be taking it very seriously.

“If you take a look at the age profile of the guys out here today and the guys that still have to join up, it’s a very young group. There’s a great buzz around with players looking to grab this big opportunity and make an impression on the new coach ahead of the November tests.”


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