Stephen Jones Mocks Eddie Jones’ England Reign & Lays Waste To Dylan Hartley
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Outspoken Welsh journalist Stephen Jones has mocked Eddie Jones’ reign as England boss, suggesting the Australian has “timed is reign splendidly.” Jones has lost just one game (against Ireland) since taking over as boss, resulting in two Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam.
In a Sunday Times article headlined “Eddie Jones’s England team selection has tunnel vision” Jones sought to bring some perspective to England’s 23-1 record under Jones and his ongoing support for Hartley, who’s come under fire once again recently for a poor run of form.
Jones says never in the history of rugby has it been easier to dominate, with powerhouses like France, South Africa and to a lesser extent, Australia – all struggling to find form.
“It would be churlish to go too far into the theory that never in the history of international rugby, with South Africa, Australia, France, Italy, Argentina, Samoa and, until recently, Scotland either poor or downright pathetic – and no fixtures against New Zealand – has it been easier to be dominant,” Jones wrote.
“Eddie Jones has timed his reign splendidly.”
In terms of Hartley, Jones says he not a great captain, or even a great player and that one day England will need him to be both, and they will lose.
“Hartley’s problems in terms of discipline, leadership and playing quality began way before Northampton’s decline. He does not have the presence, power and biting quotability of Martin Johnson, Dallaglio or Brian O’Driscoll; or the quiet aura of Sam Warburton, or the menace of Sean Fitzpatrick or, indeed, the follow-me exuberance on the field of Rory Best,” wrote Stephen Jones, who clearly has little faith in the hooker’s leadership qualities.”
“Dylan Hartley is by all accounts a decent bloke with a wide streak of humanity. He is neither a great player nor a great captain. One day, England will need him to be both, and they will lose,” he concluded.