VIDEO: Jones overstepped the mark
SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: This time last year, England were one win away from back-to-back Grand Slams and a Tier One record of 19 consecutive victories.
Eddie Jones could do no wrong and memories of the World Cup debacle were slowly evaporating as a new look England redeemed itself under the wily Australian.
Over the course of his England tenure, Jones has built a reputation for playing the game both on and off the pitch, tactfully hurling a grenade or firing a shot at an opposing coach or player.
In particular, Jones likes to take aim at opposition out-halves, putting them on notice for some extra attention. This season alone, Jones has sought to unnerve Rhys Patchell & Finn Russell ahead of games against Wales and Scotland, with mixed results.
From a media perspective, it adds a welcome sub-plot to games and creates the pre-match hype the sport is sometimes missing.
One comment from a showdown between Ireland and England still rankles in certain quarters. In 2016 Jones sought to gain an edge for his team by questioning the safety Jonny Sexton ahead of their game at Twickenham.
“Sexton is an interesting one, they’ve talked about him having whiplash injury which is not a great thing to talk about.
“I’m sure his mother and father would be worried about that. Hopefully, the lad’s all right on Saturday to play.”
Two years on, and Brian O’Driscoll has decided to remind the England coach that there’s no place in the game for personal attacks like this.
* What are your views? Should Jones be wary of over-stepping the mark, or are these mind games all part and parcel of the game?