RFU Release Statement On Eddie Jones – Condemning His Recent Comments
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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has released a statement condemning England head coach Eddie Jones’ comments about match officials following their Six Nations win over Wales last weekend.
Jones took issue with Manu Tuilagi’s seemingly clear-cut red card late on following a shoulder-charge to George North’s head, suggesting referee Ben O’Keeffe had been siding with Wales.
“I just find it bizarre. I usually don’t comment, but I don’t see how you can tackle a guy,” Jones said last week.
“You might as well just say you let him go, because how else are you supposed to tackle him? This bit about where your arms are – what a load of rubbish. Manu was trying to kill the tackle. That’s the only thing he was trying to do. It’s absolute rubbish. I’m sorry, I’ve broken my rule.
“It just seems there’s no common sense applied in that situation. Clearly the guy is falling, there’s a good chop tackle and Manu is coming over the top to kill the tackle. He’s doing everything that he’s supposed to be doing and he gets red-carded. Like, come on.
“At the end, we were 13 against 16 and that’s hard.”
But his employers are not happy and have made it clear they do not condone comments that undermine match officials, noting they have discussed the matter internally with Jones.
“The Rugby Football Union does not condone comments that in any way undermine the integrity of match officials, who are central to the sport and its values,” an RFU statement read.
“We have discussed with England head coach Eddie Jones the nature of the comments he made to the media in the immediate aftermath of a dramatic finish to the England versus Wales Guinness Six Nations match on Saturday, and have made it clear that such comments are not in line with the values of the sport or the RFU.
“Eddie and the RFU regret any implication that Ben O’Keefe was biased in his decision making. We have outlined this position to the tournament organisers the Six Nations and World Rugby, who will pass on our apologies to Ben O’Keefe and the match officials team.
“In the meantime, Eddie Jones and the RFU have proposed a high-level discussion forum with World Rugby to help achieve greater general alignment between coaches and match officials.
“All parties are satisfied that the matter has been dealt with appropriately, are confident that further action would be taken should such a situation occur in the future, and consider the matter to be closed.”