Tommy O’Donnell’s injury brought back some bad memories for this Ireland star

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IT COULDN’T HAVE been easy viewing for Felix Jones.

As Tommy O’Donnell lay injured on the Millennium Stadium turf surrounded by medical staff, Jones would have been all too familiar with the scene surrounding his stricken Munster team-mate.

Four years ago, Jones looked destined to make Declan Kidney’s World Cup squad until a cruel twist of fate denied him a dream trip to New Zealand.

Having battled back from serious neck and knee injuries, the Dublin native, along with Conor Murray, looked set to make the southern hemisphere showpiece as a late bolter.

That’s until he went up to claim a high ball against France in the 71st minute of Ireland’s 26-22 defeat at the Aviva during the warm-up series. The minute Jones landed on his foot, he knew it. World Cup. Dream. Over.

“At the time four years ago I knew immediately it was gone,” said Jones on his 2011 World Cup heartbreak.

“I tore a lisfranc ligament in my foot and I knew straight away. You put so much work into it so it was massively disappointing. It’s hard to describe.”

So, when Jones saw O’Donnell being wheeled from the pitch after suffering a nasty hip injury, all he could feel was empathy for his fallen comrade.

“We don’t know what the full story is there but my heart goes out to him,” said the former Leinster flyer.

Felix Jones has battled back from serious injury. Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

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“Hopefully it’s not as serious as it looked. There isn’t a huge number of people who have gone through what he could be experiencing now and there are no words that can describe it really.”

Joe Schmidt’s side ran riot in the opening half hour with Jamie Heaslip, Darren Cave and Keith Earls all breaching the Welsh rearguard.

Simon Zebo and Jones inflicted more pain on the home side with further scores in the second half, but the Irish No 15 admitted that there is still plenty to work on over the coming weeks despite their promising performance over the weekend.

“In terms of the team, I don’t think there was an overwhelming sense, although the scoreline was large, there were plenty of things to be looking back on that we weren’t too pleased with.”

Tommy O’Donnell is stretchered off in Cardiff on Saturday. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The Seapoint speedster was one of a host of impressive performers against Warren Gatland’s inexperienced outfit in Cardiff.

Jones, who turned 28 in the week leading up to Saturday’s Test, did his World Cup hopes no harm against the Welsh, but accepted that nothing is certain particularly with such fierce competition in the back five.

“At this stage, it’s out of my control,” Jones added.

“There’s not a huge amount of extra thinking, it’s not going to affect, whatever goes on in my head, in the next 24 or 48 hours or however long he (Schmidt) takes his decisions.”

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