Monday 26 February 2018

Eddie Jones says he will apologise to Johnny Sexton for whiplash injury remarks

Johnny Sexton battered and bruised against France
Johnny Sexton battered and bruised against France

Harry Clarke

England head coach Eddie Jones has admitted he will apologise to Johnny Sexton for comments he made about the Irishman's injuries "when the time is right".

Jones heightened tensions between the rival camps days before Ireland were due to face England in this year's Six Nations at Twickenham by expressing his alarm at the "whiplash injury'" sustained by Sexton during the 10-9 defeat by France the weekend previously.

"Sexton is an interesting one, they've talked about him having a whiplash injury which is not a great thing to talk about,'' Jones said at the time.

"I'm sure his mother and father would be worried about that. Hopefully, the lad's all right to play on Saturday.

England head coach Eddie Jones. Picture: PA
England head coach Eddie Jones. Picture: PA

"I'd just be worried about his welfare if he's had whiplash injuries. That's quite a distinct way to talk about the injury. You don't like to see that with any player.

"If you're saying a guy has got whiplash then he's had a severe trauma. Maybe they used the wrong term, but if you've had severe trauma then you've got to worry about the welfare of the player."

When it was put to Jones that Sexton has passed the head injury assessment, the Australian replied: "The only thing I've suggested is that if they say he's had whiplash injuries, then I'd be worried about him. That's all I'm suggesting.

"We've got medical staff here, the best medical staff in England, and we'll make the best decision for the player. I'm sure Ireland have done the same."

But in an interview with the English Times, Jones admits he went too far.

“At the right time I will,” he said. “I haven’t yet but at the right time I will. Because he is a brilliant player. I love him as a player.”

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