Eddie Jones blasts Australian media's 'disgusting' treatment of England team
Published 12/06/2016 | 22:26
Eddie Jones has reacted with fury to the "demeaning, disrespectful and disgusting" treatment of England in Australia.
While the players enjoyed measured celebrations after their 39-28 win in Brisbane, knowing one more victory would seal an historic series triumph, Jones braced himself for hostility "coming at us left, right and centre".
The Australian objected to a vulgar and inappropriate question laced with sexual innuendo asked by former Wallabies flanker Steve Hoiles at the post-match press conference and is incensed by a sneering television advert.
In the trailer shown repeatedly in the build-up to the first Test, pundits including Tim Horan and Phil Kearns mockingly highlighted past English failures and declared a successful series for the World Cup finalists a foregone conclusion.
England responded with a stirring comeback victory at Suncorp Stadium, in the process posting their highest points total in the southern hemisphere, and Jones insists the taunts will only further motivate his tourists in the potentially-decisive second instalment in Melbourne.
"You've seen the promotions...and the kind of questions we get," Jones said. "It's quite demeaning and disrespectful to the team, so we're not going to let this opportunity pass.
"Without a doubt we've been disrespected. You get that sort of ridiculous question from Hoiles.
"The team has been disrespected. I'm not worried about myself, I can handle myself. Don't worry about that. I don't talk about it to the team. We talk about rugby."
Former Australia hooker Kearns branded Jones "fanatical" last week and claimed any success England enjoy under his guidance will be short term only.
"I'm sure they are all going to be lining up this week. There has been a row of ex-Wallabies so far - you've had Hoiles, you've had Simon Poidevin and you've had Kearns.
"David Campese has got to be somewhere. He's coming for sure. I can see next week something is going to happen. It's not important for us to earn respect, it's important for us to win. That's the only thing. This is about us, not about Australia.
"We want the England team to be strong, we want to play good rugby and to do that, it's about us."
A thrilling opener saw Australia race into a 10-0 lead - Jones insisted his team needed time to adjust to the pace of facing a southern hemisphere powerhouse - before England stormed back into contention.
The balance of power shifted with the withdrawal of Luther Burrell in the 23rd minute, a tactical replacement that reunited the Grand Slam 10-12 axis of George Ford and Owen Farrell.
It proved to be an inspired early substitution, Burrell's confusion in defence making way for the extra control of twin playmakers with Ford's vision adding a new dimension.
The task facing Burrell, who had only recently returned to the team after his controversial omission from last autumn's World Cup squad, is to once again rebuild his confidence having been hauled off so early.
"It's a very old-fashioned view to say that you can't make substitutions in the first half. Why can't you? Because no one does it? Well, you can do. And it can be very successful," Jones said.
"Picking himself is Luther's challenge. That's what Test rugby's about. You've got to be tough.
"He understood that the best thing for the team was for him to come off and George to come on. We talk about a 23-man squad all the time and that's what we're trying to do."
Only two weeks ago Ford was being jeered at Twickenham after missing six of his seven shots at goal in a pre-tour rout of Wales.
"George had a fantastic day. He didn't kick his goals against Wales, but he was brilliant. His play against Wales was first class. He's a good strong character and that's what I like about him," Jones said.
Jones insists that while England are entitled to enjoy a special moment in the nation's rugby history, their senior players will ensure that all focus is trained on Saturday's showdown at AAMI Park.
"There's good leadership in the team. You've got guys like Dylan Hartley, James Haskell and Chris Robshaw and they've been through the mill," Jones said.
"They've been through the tough times of England rugby and they don't want to go back there. They want to keep improving. They want to keep winning.
"We have a great win. That is going to be in the record books. That is never taken away.
"It's like scoring a Test hundred in cricket - no one ever takes that away from you. And we have done that in the first Test - but next week is even more important.
"Australian teams prefer to be underdogs and they go into next week as underdogs, so they are going to be happy. They hate losing in Brisbane."