England Boss Eddie Jones Makes ‘Bold’ Maro Itoje Referee Claim
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England head coach Eddie Jones believes sometimes referees tend to “over-referee” players like Maro Itoje following another penalty-ridden performance from the England lock.
Itoje gave away a whopping five penalties on his own in the defeat to Wales on Saturday but escaped a yellow card – something Wales boss Wayne Pivac did not agree with.
While Itoje is without a doubt one of the best players in the world, Jones’ comments might make some people chuckle given Itoje’s history when it comes to playing on the very edge.
Anyone who has watched him closely over the years will be thinking if anything – the second-row is not penalised enough, particularly for offsides and infringements at the breakdown.
But Jones while Jones agrees he does need to tidy up his game, he doesn’t think the 26-year-old is entirely to blame.
“Maro is one of the best players in the world and he plays the game on the edge,” Jones said.
“I can remember the same sort of discussion being had about (former Australia captain) George Smith at one stage. Sometimes the referees tend to over-referee a player like him.
“At the same time, there are areas of the game he needs to tidy up and he knows that. He’s a good boy, a good player. There are just a few things in his game he needs to tidy up.”