England coach Eddie Jones says he will not try to stop fans at Twickenham Stadium singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot but maintains they need to be educated on its links with American slavery to make an informed decision.
The Swing Low anthem, believed to have been written by a slave in the mid-19th century, became a mainstay with England supporters in the 1980s and the RFU said last month it was reviewing its use amid global Black Lives Matter protests.
“It’s an awareness and education piece,” Jones told Sky Sports. “I remember coming in the 2000s and hearing the song when our scrum was under the pump. It didn’t resonate to me that it was involved in things that possibly aren’t too flash.
“It was a rugby song but, given that people now have that awareness… it’s probably a choice they have got to make. If they are educated enough and aware enough, they will make the right decision, but that’s not for me to tell them.”
The coronavirus pandemic has cast doubt over the future of Super Rugby, with New Zealand pushing for an eight-to-ten team competition which would exclude South Africa and Argentina but include teams from Australia and one from the Pacific.
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South Africa are looking to fill the 2021 vacuum with their own competition which would include Argentina’s Jaguares and possibly the Cheetahs and Southern Kings. Jones believes strong domestic competitions are needed to raise the standards of the game.
“The main thing is, and it is shown, is that people want a strong domestic competition and it has probably fallen away a little bit,” said England boss Jones.
“New Zealand’s Super Rugby has shown that people want to see the best against the best… the task for each country is to make sure their domestic league is the highest level of competition and, if you do that, fans will come and watch.”
The player who was the reason why Swing Low, Sweet Chariot was first sung at Twickenham has joined the debatehttps://t.co/fN55LaUz7r
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