Sun 17 Jul 2022 | 10:53

The fall-out of the Eddie Jones rant

The fall-out of the Eddie Jones rant
Sun 17 Jul 2022 | 10:53
The fall-out of the Eddie Jones rant
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REACTION: Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has slammed the behaviour of a set of Wallabies fans who were involved in ugly confrontations with England head coach Eddie Jones.

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Jones was at the centre of at least two confrontations with fans after being called a “traitor” at Saturday’s 21-17 victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Footage posted on social media shows Jones being baited in two separate incidents on the night England completed a series victory.

In one clip a man wearing a Wallabies cap and holding a pint of beer points a finger at Jones as he walks onto the pitch and says twice “you’re a traitor”, provoking a furious reaction.

Jones stalks over to the stand and replies “come here and say it” three times, causing the surprised fan to back off, and is then ushered away by a member of the ground’s security staff.

The security guard can be heard saying to the fan “I have spoken to you before”.

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In another incident that takes place as he walks through the members area of the SCG, Jones is called a traitor once again and this time he replies “what did you say you f****** idiot. Go and f*** yourself mate.”

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Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan condemned the conduct of the supporter, while the Rugby Football Union has declined to comment at this stage.

“That fan’s behaviour is totally unacceptable and is not welcome at a Wallabies Test if he carries on like that,” McLennan said.

“We should be acknowledging Eddie’s achievements as a great Aussie export. There’s too much tall poppy syndrome in that comment.”

Meanwhile, police have charged a fan for urinating off the side of the roof of the SCG’s O’Reilly Stand.

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Former Wallabies great Matt Giteau defended Jones, saying: “Don’t rate that supposed fan getting into Eddie Jones. It’s a poor look. I, as a proud wallaby & Australian , don’t think for one second Eddie is a traitor. He is a proud Aussie that happens to coach another national team that isn’t us. This is sport nowadays.”

Former Scotland second row forward Jim Hamilton wrote: “Just off the back of the Eddie Jones videos. I have seen a huge shift in Rugby fans over the last few years. Swearing and abusing referees during the match. Abuse on twitter. #rugbyvalues and all that shite, it’s gone. Values in any walk of life seem to have gone. 2022. It’s sad.”

It is understood that Jones, an Australian who coached the Wallabies from 2001 to 2005, was subjected to hostile abuse when walking to and from the coach’s box with the layout at the SCG meaning he had to pass through sections of the home crowd.

“Clowns think they have full go to abuse coaches,” Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald when asked about the incident.

Jones’ experience of abuse from fans is not limited to Australia, however.

On the 2018 tour to South Africa, he hit back at spectators at Ellis Park in a heated tunnel confrontation, standing his ground for 10 to 15 seconds before being taken away by players and staff.

Earlier that same year, he was physically and verbally abused by Scotland supporters in Manchester and when catching a train to London in the wake of a 25-15 defeat at Murrayfield.

The incidents were investigated by British Transport Police and Jones vowed to not use public transport again.

Sources: PA, additional reporting RugbyPass

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