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England arrive to boos but there is no repeat of 2020 bottle-gate

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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England arrived to a chorus of boos at Murrayfield on Saturday for their Guinness Six Nations opener but there was no repeat of the controversy from two years ago when Eddie Jones alleged in the aftermath of his team’s 13-6 win over Scotland that one of his staff was said to have been hit on the head by a beer bottle when getting off the team bus at the stadium. 

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“We weren’t expecting beer bottles to be thrown. It’s a pretty good achievement, throwing beer bottles, you’ve got to be brave to throw a beer bottle,” snarled Jones in the aftermath of that previous Edinburgh Six Nations meeting between Scotland and England. 

The Scottish Rugby Union apologised to Richard Hill, the England team manager, at the time but doubts later emerged over whether the bottle had been thrown as some footage instead suggested it was blown down from on high because of the bad weather.  

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The weather was again terrible two years later in Edinburgh but was no repeat of any bottle incident when the two-bus England convoy pulled into the stadium approximately 20 minutes after Gregor Townsend’s Scotland have arrived into huge cheers from the waiting home fans.

There was much pageantry involved as they stopped the bus about 20 metres short of their destination and made a point of rousing the crowd by walking the rest of the way with skipper Stuart Hogg leading them.

England team manager Hill was first off of their lead bus when it pulled in sometime after with Charlie Ewels and Nick Isiekwe the initial two players to step out to a chorus of boos. Coach Jones was last off the bus and he too was greeted with jeers.   

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It was what the Australian expected, though, having last week stated: “It’s going to be hostile but the good thing is they have got me there and I’m not very popular, so I am sure I am going to get plenty of the abuse and I am happy to take that.”

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