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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Eddie Jones says sorry for remark about Ireland – but does he mean it?

England’s outspoken coach initially said his team could have declared at half-time against Ireland.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

EDDIE JONES HAS apologised to Ireland’s fans for saying his team could have “declared” at half-time after building a 17-0 lead.

In a later interview, Jones was asked again about this comment and responded by saying: “I probably need to apologise for it.

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I know you’re not allowed to say anything that’s a little bit different here, so I’ll apologise. I’ll apologise for making a comment that’s not in the rugby sense. Apologies.”

Jones was in a tetchy mood after England’s 24-12 win over Ireland – turning a song of praise about Owen Farrell into a pop at the English Press.

“Owen’s doing a great job as captain,” Jones said. “Every game he captains, he gets a little bit better.

“But it wasn’t about what he did on the field – it was about what he did in the lead-up to the game.

“It was outstanding how he led the team in the lead-up to the game and we saw that when the players got on the field.

“We had great focus. We had great clarity about how we wanted to play. As a result you can play with great energy.”

Then Jones’ mood darkened: “Remember last week he couldn’t captain? People told me that was the problem with him. He couldn’t captain.”

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The source of Jones’ irritation stems from the fact he is being routinely criticised for playing players out of position – Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Courtney Lawes, Owen Farrell, Tom Curry and Charlie Ewels. The 24-12 victory vindicated his decision, though.

We just made it up on the run,” Jones said, sarcastically. “I’ve got a piece of paper that says, ‘Where are we going to put him? Oh, we’ll put him  (Lewes) at No 8’.

“You’re not allowed to say these things in rugby because then you become a trash talker and an idiot and all those things.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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