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Twitter Wars, episode 7,238: Stephen Jones vs the England rugby team

Players react after sports journalist criticises the team’s performance against Wales.

Shontayne Hape was singled out for criticism by Jones.
Shontayne Hape was singled out for criticism by Jones.

SUNDAY TIMES WRITER Stephen Jones is renowned for provoking controversy.

And the rugby pundit has succeeded in doing so again with his latest tirade.

Writing in The Sunday Times (print edition), Jones attacked what he deemed as a lacklustre performance by England against Wales on Saturday.

Jones highlighted England’s deficiencies in attack, describing them as “meat heads” and writing that “their composure, skill and pace when taking chances simply did not exist”.

He also dismissed the ability of England centre, Shontayne Hape, giving him a one out of ten rating for his performance and describing him as “another rugby league disaster”.

However, following these strong words from Jones, England rugby players past and present, in the form of Danny Care and Matt Dawson, hit back via Twitter.

Care tweeted:

“Anyone who listens to what Stephen Jones says is as big an idiot as he is. He doesn’t have a clue. #disrespectful”.

Dawson also expressed his unhappiness with Jones, tweeting:

“Steve Jones giving Shontayne Hape 1/10 in Times. Ur a joke Jones! Total disrespect for a professional sportsman trying to do his job!”

Dawson later added:

“Just out of interest from 90k people has anyone got anything nice to say about Steve Jones Rugby Writer. Didn’t think so!!!”

England produced what was widely regarded as a disappointing display on Saturday, losing 19-9 to Wales despite dominating in terms possession and territory.


What do you think? Were the English players right to react as they did to Jones’ criticisms?

Poll Results:

Yes, they have every right to. (47)
No, the criticism was deserved. (47)
Either way, they shouldn't be giving Jones free publicity. (38)

Read more in The Sunday Times (print edition) >

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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