Sunday 21 October 2018

'Disgusting behaviour from drunk idiots' - Scotland legend blasts fans who abused Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones. Photo: PA
Eddie Jones. Photo: PA

Duncan Bech

Scotland great Scott Hastings has demanded that the fans who directed verbal and physical abuse at Eddie Jones are convicted.

Jones revealed on Wednesday that he feared for his safety while catching a train from Edinburgh to Manchester on the morning after England's Calcutta Cup defeat at Murrayfield.

The Australian travelled alone via standard class to be a guest of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, before receiving similar treatment at the hands of football fans on the final leg of his journey from Manchester to London.

Video footage shot in Manchester and obtained by the BBC's Dan Roan shows Jones posing for selfies with Scotland supporters, who then turn on him. One calls him a "baldy ****" as he is ushered into a car.

Following a separate incident, British Transport Police are investigating a report of verbal abuse against Jones after officers were sent to meet his train as it arrived into London Euston on Sunday evening.

"I am really upset about this. These despicable idiots are a disgrace. We need to find them, name & shame them & fine them for public disorder & harassment," Hastings tweeted.

"I am really upset about this. Disgusting behaviour from a bunch of drunk idiots."

Scottish Rugby offered strong condemnation upon seeing the footage which has been widely circulated on social media, while former British and Irish Lion John Beattie has apologised to Jones, tweeting "so sorry".

"Scottish Rugby is appalled by the verbal abuse suffered by Eddie Jones," a statement read

"The disgusting behaviour of those involved does not represent the values of our sport or its fans.

"The dignity Eddie and the England team showed on Saturday is in stark contrast to this ugly incident."

Jones has resolved not to use public transport again following the experience and is frustrated given his willingness to engage with supporters.

"I'm a human being. I don't consider myself any different from anyone else, so for me to travel on public transport I thought was OK. But I'll make sure I won't in future. It's as simple as that," Jones said on Wednesday.

"I can't because it was shown on Sunday what happens when I do. That's the world we live in. I was massively surprised. It wasn't comfortable.

"I never knock back a request for a selfie unless I'm racing to somewhere. So I try and do the right thing by the fans, but if this happens then you've got to have a look at your own safety."

When asked whether the abuse was physical or verbal, Jones replied: "A bit of both.

"It's part of the challenge. As an Australian coaching England, there were always going to be challenges and that's just one of them."

Press Association

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