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Eddie Jones criticises Rassie Erasmus as 'disrespectful to the referee'

By Paul Smith
Eddie Jones /PA

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England boss Eddie Jones has criticised South African counterpart Rassie Erasmus for his hour-long video attack on Aussie official Nic Berry’s refereeing of the first test between the Springboks and the Lions.

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Speaking to BBC Five Live, Jones called for further work to improve the standards of officiating before adding: “But there is an appropriate way to do it and that is being respectful to the referee.”

England’s head coach has himself been reprimanded for comments made about match officials during his long coaching career which has featured stints in charge of Australia and Japan.

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Rassie Erasmus speaks about his Twitter presence
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Rassie Erasmus speaks about his Twitter presence

But while he believes room for improvement exists in a number of refereeing areas – especially the breakdown – he is also mindful of protecting the sport’s traditionally respectful approach.

“I think the game is in a good place but we have to be careful,” he said.

“I think there are some issues in the game we need to look at very carefully and I think one of them is the diligence of the referees to referee the important parts of the game well.

“Rassie made his famous video and I don’t think that is correct.

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“But we need to make sure the referees work as a three a lot harder than they do at the moment to ensure that particularly at the breakdown we get what we need to get, which is a fair contest between contest and continuity.

“But there is an appropriate way to do it, and that is being respectful to the referee.”

Little news has emerged about the ongoing World Rugby disciplinary process against Erasmus and England’s veteran boss believes this slow tempo is prolonging the agony while also doing little to set an example lower down the tree.

“It should be dealt with quickly,” Jones said.

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“We need to make sure that we have respect in the game because we are asking kids to be respectful to the referee.

“If they see examples of players or coaches being disrespectful to the referee it gives them an excuse to do it at their level.”

 

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