Eddie Jones has no regrets about Johnny Sexton ‘sideshow’

‘That’s just the sideshow, it’s finished, mate, the main event’s just gone past. I’m not talking about the sideshow’

“From this press conference onwards I’m putting a media ban on myself,” Jones laughed. “I don’t want to be accused of scaremongering. From here until next Friday before the Wales match I don’t want to talk to the media.”

“From this press conference onwards I’m putting a media ban on myself,” Jones laughed. “I don’t want to be accused of scaremongering. From here until next Friday before the Wales match I don’t want to talk to the media.”

 

Eddie Jones regrets nothing. Not one word. The Australian coach of a victorious England over Ireland (21-10) speaks bluntly and wasn’t about to change on this freezing cold Saturday night in London.

What became clear at the post-match press conference was that Jones doesn’t give a dingo’s what anybody thinks about him or his comments about Johnny Sexton’s parents last Thursday.

Was that necessary though, was this level of gamesmanship acceptable, do you regret it now, Eddie?

“That’s just the sideshow, it’s finished, mate, the main event’s just gone past. I’m not talking about the sideshow.”

That’s what Jones hoped to achieve last Thursday; make a questionable comment about an opponent’s family then duck behind the rampart as the focus gets heaped upon Sexton and well away from England number 10 George Ford.

And it worked. Sexton took plenty of punishment including a marginally late tackle from Ben Youngs.

“From this press conference onwards I’m putting a media ban on myself,” Jones laughed. “I don’t want to be accused of scaremongering. From here until next Friday before the Wales match I don’t want to talk to the media.”

But is what you said fair enough Eddie? To mention an opposing player’s parents in the pre-match conversation? Just gamesmanship, yeah?

England 21 Ireland 10 - Match Highlights

“If I don’t say anything you will come away from the press conference and say it’s boring. If I say something then I am scaremongering so I can’t win.”

But Jones knows full well that he did win. Comprehensively.

Some clarity was needed: Eddie, do you regret mentioning Johnny Sexton’s parents?

“I don’t regret anything mate. Why would I regret it?”

His family have nothing to do with rugby, perhaps?

At this point Jones loses his cool facade and with raised voice tells us: “So what? Look, Ireland said Johnny had whiplash. That came from them, not me.”

Joe Schmidt said he had injury similar to that of whiplash, it is stated. Put it this way, Eddie, if you nullify Sexton do you nullify Ireland?

“Well, he’s a key player isn’t he?”

Regarding Mike Brown accidentally kicking Conor Murray in the head (as Romain Poite adjudicated), Jones said: “If the ball is on the ground you are allowed to kick it.”

Speaking of the ball and kicking he was mildly surprised by Ireland’s tactics.

“The thing with Ireland was they kicked a bit less so there was less Aussie Rules out there.”

First night as England coach in Twickenham?

“Cold, mate, cold.”

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