In a week where Sky TV has suspended Jamie Carragher for spitting on a fan out of his car window. A video of Eddie Jones using obscene language at a sponsors’ talk to describe both Wales and Ireland has emerged.
For many, it will come as no great shock to hear of a footballer spitting at someone since Rijkaard’s behaviour at Italia 90. However, rugby is a game fundamentally built on respect and the Irish players will now need no extra motivation in the search of only their third Grand Slam in Ireland’s history.
Will there be any repercussions on Eddie Jones himself or has his success made him untouchable?
Context of comments
Firstly the context of the comments needs to be taken into account. It must be acknowledged that these were intended to add humour in a fashion not dissimilar to any after-dinner speech you might expect from any ex-professional. It is also important to state that to many the action of swearing is almost incomparable to that of spitting. But these comments are still extremely offensive to two nations full of proud individuals. Given Eddie Jones is currently still England head coach these comments are extremely reckless. It should come as no surprise that after two successive losses that this video has emerged.
At the time of writing, Eddie Jones has made a formal apology for his behaviour and the RFU has agreed to apologise to its Welsh and Irish counterparts. No apparent investigation further into the matter. This is in stark contrast to the altercation of Jamie Carragher, which is still pending review. One has to ask the question whether Stuart Lancaster would have been given the same support had similar comments come out after the 2015 Rugby World Cup? Or Warren Gatland when facing a barrage of media criticism after dropping Brian O’Driscoll in 2013?
In what is becoming an overly politically correct world, these comments appear to have rightly been taken as a bit of banter, where someone has waited for the slightest slip in Eddie Jones’ almost impeccable England career to add mounted pressure.
In what has been a difficult period for Eddie Jones in the past few weeks, it will be interesting to see how these comments are viewed if the result on Saturday does not fall in his favour.
Author: Patrick Hanlon
Born in Cardiff and bred in Suffolk. I have grown up with a love of the game and pride myself on watching as much rugby as possible. Alongside watching the sport, I have spent many a cold winter morning travelling to the back-end of nowhere to play.