Eddie Jones has been left embarrassed after footage emerged of the England head coach referring to Ireland as the “scummy Irish” and Wales as a “little shit place”.
The video shows Jones giving a talk on leadership for Fuso, the Japanese parent company of England sponsors Mitsubishi.
It was uploaded by Fuso to YouTube in July last year but has only come to light before Saturday’s final round of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations when England will face Ireland at Twickenham.
Jones apologised for his comments last night and admitted his choice of words was inexcusable, saying he was “very sorry”. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) said it would apologise to the Irish and Welsh unions.
In the talk, Jones told an audience: “We’ve played 23 Tests and have only lost one Test to the scummy Irish. I’m still dirty about that game. But we will get that back!
“We will get that back, don’t worry, we have them next year at home, we will get ’em back!”
Earlier in the talk, Jones discusses Japan U20s losing to their Welsh counterparts 125-0 shortly after he took over as Brave Blossoms head coach in 2012.
“Wales. Who knows Wales? Are there any Welsh people here? So it’s this little shit place that has got three million people. Three million!” he said.
In his apology, released by the RFU, Jones said: “I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused — no excuses and I shouldn’t have said what I did. I’m very sorry.”
Not only will the footage have caused acute embarrassment to the RFU, but it could also serve to motivate Ireland ahead of Saturday’s St Patrick’s Day showdown.
An RFU spokeswoman said: “Eddie has apologised for his inappropriate remarks, and the RFU is also very sorry for any offence caused and will apologise to the IRFU and WRU.”
Meanwhile England have denied a conflict of interest after one of the officials for their clash with Ireland refereed a squad training session on Tuesday.
Marius van der Westhuizen will run one of the touchlines at Twickenham on Saturday with Angus Gardner taking charge of a match that could yield a Grand Slam for Joe Schmidt’s newly-crowned champions.
World Rugby permits referees to assist players and coaches with their understanding of the laws and their interpretation, and as a result an official oversees live training at England’s Surrey training base on a weekly basis.
It is forbidden for an official to help a team if they are to referee them during the tournament, but as Van der Westhuizen will act as an assistant referee only, no rule has been broken. Asked if using the South African was appropriate given his presence at Twickenham on Saturday, defence coach Paul Gustard said: “Why wouldn’t it be?
“So they (Ireland) will be questioning his integrity? You could see it the other way, couldn’t you? What if it goes against us. He’s an international referee. He is one of the best referees. You’re asking someone to come in here and assist in training, give his viewpoint on things.
“It’s no different to if someone from Ireland rang up to give his viewpoint on things. They have the same access. I see no issue with it at all.”
At Twickenham England will attempt to outwit Andy Farrell, who oversaw the Red Rose’s defence under Stuart Lancaster for four years and is now performing the same role with success for Ireland.
James Haskell is set to be restored to the back row in place of the injured Courtney Lawes and the Wasps flanker insists England have “intimate knowledge” of the way Farrell operates, most recently during the Lions tour to New Zealand.
“Andy is a world-class coach. He speaks very well, he’s a great orator and he obviously motivates,” Haskell said. “He always demands passion and intensity from his defence with aggressive line speed and that physicality he instils into the guys.
“From my experience from working with him he always gets his boys on the edge. He demands big acceleration and physical contact. We have intimate knowledge of that.”
England name their team today with Dylan Hartley and Elliot Daly likely to return to action.
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