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Clive Woodward gets stuck in again to 'just plain daft' Eddie Jones

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

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World Cup winner Clive Woodward has yet again torn strips off Eddie Jones, castigating the England coach for last Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Barbarians at Twickenham and ridiculing his allegedly increasing lack of ability to know his best team. England flew out on Tuesday for their three-Test tour of Australia on the back of a 52-21 schooling by a 14-man Baa-Baas team that had lost Will Skelton to a first-half red card.

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Woodward opted to stew on the performance for a number of days before finally turning his thoughts into words and sharing them with rugby fans via Sportsmail. For quite some time now, the 2003 World Cup-winning boss has been hugely critical of Jones and his run of deflating results in recent years in charge of England.

He gave Jones both barrels in March after a second successive Guinness Six Nations campaign ended with just two England wins from five matches, and he has since reloaded and fired off another round of shots on the back of what materialised at Twickenham two days before the squad’s flight from Heathrow for the start of their tour.

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Woodward slammed England for allowing the tour warm-up match to become, in his opinion, a farce. “I was disappointed with George Kruis for allowing it to happen, especially his antics around his backheel conversion. I cannot imagine Phil Bennett laughing at that,” he wrote.

“It was also wrong to allow French coach Fabien Galthie and other French players to basically do anything they wanted at Twickenham. It says much about this England team. To concede 50 points against an opponent with 14 men was more than poor, but to allow the showboating said much about the team. Something had to happen and it did not.

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“Can you imagine New Zealand or South Africa letting a Barbarians team come to Auckland or Pretoria and take the mickey? But does anybody at the RFU really care – or more importantly, understand the relevance – or was this just another game, another day out, a chance to boost the finances?”

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Woodward added that the time is nigh for the RFU to appoint a director of rugby above Jones to sort out the mess that England are currently enduring. “Giving Eddie Jones the keys to Twickenham is holding England back now in so many ways,” he continued.

“Some of the rhetoric Jones continually comes out with is just plain daft and at this level, it doesn’t help. I saw some of his quotes about the squad for the upcoming tour of Australia and that it was a ‘good mixture of youth and experience’.

“It should be absolutely nothing about that whatsoever. It’s about picking your best starting XV, but we have lost that under Jones. Pick your side based on the best team to represent England, nothing to do with age or experience – it really is not that difficult if you know what your best XV is.

“But no one knows what the best England team is and this seeps into the players’ mindset. England have gone from close to the top of the world in Japan 2019 to, at best, a workmanlike team that few currently respect. Starters, finishers, apprentices – we cannot even name a captain until we get to Australia!”

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