RFU reacts to Eddie's ref-bashing
NEWS: The RFU have released a statement in the aftermath of Eddie Jones’ comments regarding the referee following the Six Nations match between England and Wales last weekend.
Eddie Jones labelled the official the “16th man” in a bitter post-match spray about Ben O’Keeffe. “I just find it bizarre. I usually don’t comment, but I don’t see how you can tackle a guy,” Jones said.
“You might as well just say you let him go, because how else are you supposed to tackle him? This bit about where your arms are – what a load of rubbish.
“At the end, we were 13 against 16 and that’s hard,” said Jones in a reference to O’Keeffe’s decision making.
“When you have got a three-man advantage, you are going to do some damage. That’s what happened. We had a numerical disadvantage, so it was tough.”
When asked who Wales’ 16th man was, Jones replied: “You work that out.”
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The RFU have said they have talked to Jones on the matter. The statement reads: “The Rugby Football Union does not condone comments that in any way undermine the integrity of match officials, who are central to the sport and its values.
“We have discussed with England head coach Eddie Jones the nature of the comments he made to the media in the immediate aftermath of a dramatic finish to the England versus Wales Six Nations match on Saturday, and have made it clear that such comments are not in line with the values of the sport or the RFU.
“Eddie and the RFU regret any implication that Ben O’Keeffe was biased in his decision making. We have outlined this position to the tournament organisers the Six Nations and World Rugby, who will pass on our apologies to Ben O’Keeffe and the match officials team.
“In the meantime, Eddie Jones and the RFU have proposed a high-level discussion forum with World Rugby to help achieve greater general alignment between coaches and match officials.
“All parties are satisfied that the matter has been dealt with appropriately, are confident that further action would be taken should such a situation occur in the future, and consider the matter to be closed.”