'Wales scrummage terribly illegally!' Eddie Jones is back playing mind games

Referees afraid to ping Welsh infractions, says Jones ahead of Six Nations showdown.

Jones: "We want the referee to be really hard."
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

ENGLAND HEAD COACH Eddie Jones has hit out at Wales for scrummaging “terribly illegally” ahead of their crucial Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

Jones’s men host Wales on Saturday knowing victory would mark a huge step towards the title and keep them on course for a first Grand Slam since 2003.

Wales are still in with a chance of winning the trophy having drawn with Ireland and beaten Scotland and France in their opening three matches.

Welsh forwards coach Robin McBryde recently criticised England prop Joe Marler for the angle at which the loosehead packs down at the scrum.

But Jones has hit back, telling BBC Radio Five Live: “What Wales do, they play the laws very well. I’m quite upset about the way they scrummage.

They scrummage illegally. They pre-engage all the time which is against the laws of the game.

“What happens in a game of rugby is that they pre-engage because they don’t want the contest at the start of the scrum.

“They get penalised one or two times at the start of the scrum, but then they get sick of penalising them because if the referee keeps penalising them, then the referee gets criticised.

“We really want to have a scrum contest on Saturday as that’s an important part of the game, so we’re really hopeful the referee enforces the law in that area.”

Asked if Wales have been illegally scrummaging all Six Nations, he added: “Absolutely 100%. Terribly illegally.

You’re not allowed to pre-engage, that’s part of the law. But they do it and they consistently do it, but they only get penalised at the start of the game because if you’re Wayne Barnes or Craig Joubert and you keep penalising Wales for pre-engaging, then what will all the smart guys in the commentators box say?

“They’ll say the referee is ruining the game, but the referee isn’t ruining the game, it’s the team that is scrummaging illegally that’s ruining the game.

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“We want the referee to be really hard and if he wants to ruin the game, then he has to ruin the game.

“We’ve got the strongest scrum, so we want proper scrum laws. We want the laws enforced and if they are enforced we’ll get an advantage in that area.”

Source: The42 Six Nations Show/SoundCloud

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