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Cheika disrespected referee with England bully claims, insists Eddie Jones

The England head coach does not expect referee Ben O’Keeffe to be influenced by the former Leinster boss’s words.

England head coach Eddie Jones
England head coach Eddie Jones

EDDIE JONES HAS hit back at Michael Cheika’s claims that England will try to bully Australia by accusing his opposite number of disrespecting the referee for Saturday’s showdown at Twickenham.

Cheika suggested the Six Nations champions would use underhand tactics in the Cook Cup showdown, targeting his half-backs with late tackles.

The Wallabies head coach said there would be “no point” in expressing his concerns to referee Ben O’Keeffe before the Test this weekend.

Jones was not impressed with Cheika’s pre-match comments, but does not expect O’Keeffe to take any notice of his compatriot.

“Obviously [the Wallabies] like the media more than the referee,” said the England head coach. “The referee is an intelligent guy and I’m sure he won’t be influenced by comments made in the press.

“I have coached over 100 Tests and every Test I have had a meeting with the referee and it is a sign of respect that you want to know what he wants from the game and what we want and it is a mutual exchange of information for the benefit of the game.”

Jones thinks Cheika ought to have thought about his words more carefully.

“It’s a nice term [bullying] to use at the moment.” he said. “You get up in the morning and there is a story on cyber bullying, a story on British gymnastics – it’s a common word to use.

“We have had a good preparation and those comments by Australia are literally water off a duck’s back. I don’t know about all that fun and games. They want to play a lot of games at this stage.”

Australia suffered a blow on the eve of the game when lock Adam Coleman was ruled out with a thumb injury, the uncapped Blake Evener replacing him.

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