Monday 23 April 2018

England boss Eddie Jones claims his bags were searched by Australian customs on purpose

England head coach Eddie Jones before the match
Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne
England head coach Eddie Jones before the match Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne

Ian Ransom

England coach Eddie Jones's hopes of a seamless return to his home nation struck a speed bump on Thursday when he was "shunted" into a queue to have his bags searched by customs officials on arrival at Brisbane airport.

The outspoken 56-year-old, who will guide England in a three-match series against World Cup finalists Australia, said he expected nothing less than for the locals to make life as tough as possible.

"Everything that's done around the game is going to be co-ordinated, all co-ordinated to help Australia win," Jones, who coached the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final, told local media.

"I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked. That's what I'm expecting, mate.

"We've got to be good enough to control what we can control."

Full bag checks are common at Australian airports but Jones would have been among the most recognisable faces in the early morning arrivals at Brisbane Airport.

Australia host England at Brisbane's Lang Park on June 11 and Jones's coaching battle with the Wallabies' Michael Cheika has been a major talking point of a much-hyped series.

Jones has guided his team to six straight wins and the Six Nations grand slam to restore pride in England after they were sensationally dumped from the group phase of their home World Cup by Cheika's team.

England beat the Wallabies in a test in Sydney during their last tour in 2010, one of only three wins against the hosts on Australian soil.

"Australia are ranked second in the world, they've got the best coach in the world and they're playing in their own backyard so they are going to be strong," Jones said.

"In Australia, we've won three tests since Captain Cook arrived, so it's not a great record is it?"

Jones has not missed an opportunity to add spice to the series and before boarding the flight to Australia said he had no plans to share a beer with his old friend Cheika.

Although equally plain-spoken and renowned for being hot-tempered, Cheika has refused to bite back, offering little but praise for his former Randwick team mate.

"He's been very quiet, it's a new Cheika we're facing at the moment but I'm sure the old one will come out," Jones said


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