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Clive Woodward has gone to town on Eddie Jones

By Ian Cameron
Eddie Jones /PA

Rugby World Cup winner Sir Clive Woodward has given Eddie Jones both barrels following England’s dismal loss to Argentina on Sunday in the Autumn Nations Series.

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Los Pumas beat the men in white 29-30 – only the second time they have done so in Twickenham. It was their first victory at English rugby’s HQ since 2009 and Argentina head coach Michael Cheika’s first every win over Jones.

Worryingly, England failed to fire in attack, in what was a ponderous and low-energy performance in front of 82 odd thousand fans in a rainy west London. While huge credit must be given Argentina, who earlier this year dispatched the All Blacks in NZ, all eyes are now on Jones and his charges as they face up against World Cup pool rivals Japan.

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Woodward has described himself as a friend of Jones in the past but the Englishman has become one of the Australian’s greatest critics over the course of the Australian’s tenure as head coach. No quarter was given in his latest Daily Mail column, in which he was absolutely scathing about the embattled coach.

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Woodward described watching England live as a ‘frankly awful experience’ and put the blame squarely on Jones’ shoulders.

“Losing is part of the game. You are not always going to play brilliantly but there was not a single memorable moment from an England player, nor any sign of innovation, creativity or boldness — it was really poor,” wrote Woodward.

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“The players aren’t the problem. England’s playing pool is as good as anyone in the world. I could nit-pick about individuals but the fault here lies with the way they are coached and selected.

“Too many players are being picked out of position. Maro Itoje is not a flanker and Owen Farrell is not a centre. Those guys are two of the best players in the world but England aren’t maximising their potential.”

Woodward, who has blasted his former colleague in the past, said that Jones must now face some kind of intervention from the RFU.

“I was Eddie’s biggest fan when he first came in but now it feels like he’s just trying to prove people wrong. He’s taking on the media, he’s taking on ex-players and it’s caught up with him. Someone needs to sit down with him and say, ‘What was that all about? This is just not acceptable’. Eddie needs to start listening. It’s a huge year for English rugby. He needs to look in the mirror and eat a big slice of humble pie. It’s time to admit that he’s got a lot things badly wrong.”

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Woodward argues that England would have won ‘with something to spare’ had they picked their ‘best players’ in their ‘best positions’.

“Jones and those he supposedly reports to need to wise up and quickly or their legacy will be seen as finishing English rugby. It’s not a case of changing the personnel, it’s a case of changing the way we play.”

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