Eddie Jones struggles to put out the flames of video comments
England coach concedes that he will have to consider his public utterances in the future
Right off the top of his press conference at Pennyhill Park, England head coach Eddie Jones tried to put his remarks about Ireland and Wales to bed. Fat chance.
“I apologise for the remarks. I sincerely mean that. I really don’t have anything else to say on the matter. I’m happy to answer questions on the fantastic game that is coming up but I think the other matter is dead.”
Unfortunately for Jones, the media does not work to serve his desire.
Speaking at an event last July, Jones referred to the “scummy Irish” and described Wales as a “shit little place”. While meant in acerbic jest, as is the 58-year-old Australian’s way of communicating, they were not going to be glossed over.
Question one: “It might be dead to you but I don’t think it is dead to anyone else . . . ”
Jones did concede “possibly yes” when asked if he would consider his public utterances in the future.
“Ireland are preparing for a Grand Slam they don’t need any extra motivation.”
Jones also redirected any and all criticism towards World Rugby referees chief Alain Rolland following the outcry about Saturday’s touch judge Marius van der Westhuizen coming into England camp to work on their glaring failures at the breakdown.
“Are you questioning [Van der Westhuizen’s] integrity?” Jones asked the reporter who raised the issue. “We went through World Rugby which is the proper channels, so you are asking the wrong person.
“We asked World Rugby for a southern hemisphere referee to try to help us with our breakdown and that’s what they offered.”
Richard Wigglesworth starts at scrumhalf with Owen Farrell finally conducting matters at 10 as Ben Te’o and Jonathan Joseph form a Lions partnership in the English midfield. Up front Kyle Sinckler, George Kruis, James Haskell and returning captain Dylan Hartley form a new-look English pack.
“Dylan’s fit, he’s a tough guy and a good captain.”
ENGLAND: Anthony Watson; Jonny May, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Te’o, Elliot Daly; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (capt), Kyle Sinckler; Maro Itoje, George Kruis; Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Sam Simmonds.
Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Don Armand, Danny Care, George Ford, Mike Brown.