Former Wallabies coach and current on-air personality Alan Jones has come under fire after criticising the abilities of journalist Beth Newman and Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.
Jones’ personal attack on the Newman has caused a backlash from fellow rugby media members.
The 75-year-old radio host referred to Newman as a “hack” and questioned her qualification to be commenting on the Wallabies after reading her reports in the official programme of the Wallabies and All Blacks clash at Eden Park on Saturday night.
Jones also took aim at Castle, claiming she “knows nothing about the game”.
Other commentators jumped on social media to defend both Newman and Castle.
I feel utter disgust at Alan Jones even speaking Beth Newman's [@bethknewman] name. She is one of Australian Rugby's best journos. There is only one "mouthpiece" in this discussion and it's the bloke who thinks using the N word on radio is proper conduct. For shame. #rugby https://t.co/GHrC23wpth
— Roy Ward (@rpjward) August 31, 2018
Really poor @AlanJones.
Sure, attack Rugby Australia and the system. But why bring one of our female colleagues into your weekly column?
FYI: The journo you’ve unnecessarily slandered is at most matches, almost all pressers and covered the game for 3+ years on full time basis.
— Christy Doran (@ChristypDoran) August 31, 2018
Sports journalist Roy Ward tweeted: “I feel utter disgust at Alan Jones even speaking Beth Newman’s name. There is only one ‘mouthpiece’ in this discussion and it’s the bloke who thinks using the N word on radio is proper conduct,” while Fox Sports’ Christy Doran defended Newman’s position and said that Newman has covered rugby for at least three years on a full time basis.
Jones wrote in his column for The Australian that Newman was a “paid mouthpiece” of the Australian Rugby Union.
“I picked up the rugby programme for the test match last Saturday in New Zealand,” Jones wrote.
“The world of rugby was present at the game. They would read the programme. And some hack, Beth Newman, is writing on Australian Rugby. You guessed it — she’s a paid mouthpiece for Australian Rugby.
“How the hell would her utterly irrelevant musings represent an appropriate evaluation to the world of the state of the Wallabies? And what on earth must the rest of the world think about us when such drivel passes for authoritative comment.”
Jones coached the Wallabies from 1984 to 1987 and most recently coached when he led the Barbarians in 2017. During his time as a broadcaster he has been involved in a number of defamation cases.
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