Sunday 19 November 2017

Jones slams 'disgusting, disrespectful' Aussie media

England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Gavin Mairs

Eddie Jones has branded England's reception in Australia "disgusting", "demeaning" and "disrespectful" and insists it will fire his side's bid to make further history by wrapping up the series by winning the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.

The England head coach took exception to a crude question that appeared to contain sexual innuendo from former Wallaby flanker Stephen Hoiles, who now works on a rugby show in Australia, following England's historic 39-28 victory in the first Test at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last Saturday.

Jones, who gave Hoiles his international debut when he was the Wallabies coach in 2004, reacted angrily to the "ridiculous" question and claimed it was testament to the treatment his squad have received during the tour, including a mocking promotional video for the series by Fox Sports.

"You've seen the promotions Fox Sports have been running this week and the kind of questions we get - it is quite demeaning, disrespectful to the team, so we're not going to let this opportunity pass," Jones said.

Asked if he felt England had been disrespected since arriving in Australia, Jones added: "Without a doubt. You get that sort of ridiculous question from Hoiles. You've seen the Fox promos, they are disgusting.

"I am talking about the team. I'm not worried about myself. All I am saying is there's been quite a disrespectful way in which the team has been treated in the media here."

Jones expects the spotlight on his squad to intensify this week, with the series on the line for Australia in Melbourne. "I am sure they are all going to be lining up," he said. "There has been a row of ex-Wallaby players - you've had Hoiles, you've had (Simon) Poidevin, and you have had (Phil) Kearns. (David) Campese has got to be somewhere. He is coming for sure. I can see next week something is going to happen."

Jones added: "The Australians will be coming at us left, right and centre."

Jones' big decision now is whether to stick with the side who finished the match victorious - with George Ford and Owen Farrell back in combination at 10 and 12 as they were during England's Grand Slam triumph - or hand a debut to Ben Te'o at inside centre.

"There are no selection issues," Jones said. "We want to improve the side every week, that's all we're trying to do. I don't see that as selection issues. There won't be a debate, there'll be a selection."

On Saturday, Ford demonstrated exquisite skill in creating tries for Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell.

Jones had shown his ruthlessness by hauling off Luther Burrell after 28 minutes as the high-tempo start by Australia had threatened to rip England apart following tries by Michael Hooper and Israel Folau.

Burrell was withdrawn just after referee Romain Poite had crossed off what would have been a try by Bernard Foley because of obstruction by debutant Rory Arnold. It was a defining moment with the scores at 10-6 to Australia as Owen Farrell reduced the deficit to a point with the next penalty.

England's defence firmed up with Ford's introduction and with scrummaging dominance, the tourists built a lead, thanks to the kicking of Farrell, who helped Jonathan Joseph pounce on a loose pass by Folau that culminated in the try for Joseph.

Then there was the skills of Ford, whose long pass off his left hand created a try for Yarde after a side-stepping charge by James Haskell, while his chip for Nowell's try at the death was perfectly struck.

England's dominant scrum culminated in a yellow card for Scott Sio, and all the while, Farrell kicked six penalties to keep Australia chasing the game despite a second try for Hooper and one for Tevita Kuridrani.

Michael Cheika will have to plan for the rest of the series without the influential David Pocock who has been ruled out with a broken eye socket.

Irish Independent

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