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Joe Marchant on brutal chat with Eddie Jones that led to England exit

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Stade Francais centre Joe Marchant has shed some light on the conversation he had with former England head coach Eddie Jones which contributed to his decision to move to the Top 14.

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The England international was a guest on Le French Rugby podcast recently, where he opened up on his exile from the England team by the former head coach of the national team, and the offer that came from the Parisian club soon after.

The 27-year-old’s move to France is a curious case, and an example that moves like these are never as simple as a player just turning their back on England.

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Marchant agreed to a move from Harlequins to Stade Francais in December 2022 following an autumn campaign where he was overlooked by Jones. That followed a summer series against Australia where he was dropped.

Just a day after Marchant’s move was announced, Jones was sacked by England and soon replaced by Steve Borthwick, who proceeded to take the centre in from the cold and pick him for the following Six Nations and start him in all but one of their 2023 World Cup matches before he embarked for Paris.

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Marchant gave an insight into the conversation he had with Jones in Australia which led to the spiral of events which now sees him plying his trade in Paris and ineligible to represent England.

But his ongoing dialogue with Jones over his England career dated back far earlier than 2022, specifically prior to his move to the Blues in Super Rugby in 2020, and how it was encouraged by the Australian.

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“The Super thing was actually me going to him and asking,” Marchant said. “Because I knew at the time that I wasn’t in the World Cup squad for 2019, and I said to him, because I was resigning at Quins at the time and trying to get it all sorted, I was like ‘look, I’ve wanted to play Super Rugby for a long time, I watched it growing up, I want to explore it, what do you think?’

“He was like ‘brilliant, go do it, that will be really good for you.’

“So I went and did it, spoke to Quins, got it all sorted, came back and immediately things were really good, I’d got into the squad.

“Then it started to change a little bit where there was just no consistency. I was in the squad then I was out the squad, then I’d be starting a game or two games then I’d be completely dropped. It was hard to get my head around it all.

“It ended up in Australia being my last Test with him. We played the first game and I thought I had an ok game on the Saturday. Came to the Tuesday, and he just pulled me in and was basically just like, without getting into too much detail, yeah, you’re not going to play the next game, you’re not going to play the rest of this tour. You need to sort out all these things blah, blah, and if you do that, you’ll play for England again. But if you don’t, then you won’t.

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“And that was pretty much the last communication. Obviously, we had the rest of the tour in Australia, so I had two games to be part of the squad and keep training.

“So once that was all done it was like ‘right, where do we go from here?’ The offer came from Stade and I was like ‘I’d be crazy if I turned this down’.

 

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Comments

9 Comments
S
S 34 days ago

He was class at the Blues. When he went home and barely showed up in the Test teams I assumed he was injured. England would have been better for having him in the team.

H
Henrik 34 days ago

hiring Eddie Jones is like buying a pig-in-a-poke …. beating the Boks with a Japan squad (perhaps the biggest upset in RWC history), reaching the RWC final in 2019 - but also big time failures (Australia, England, Saracens, Queensland, ….) …. perhaps Japan suits him best, where he may mark the almighty sensei, and people are too polite to challenge him

M
Michele 34 days ago

I absolutely love watching Joe Marchant play rugby. I am sorry to see him leave England, but of course I understand his reasons for leaving. I hope he makes it back home sometime!

M
MattJH 35 days ago

Come back to Super Rugby. Loved having him at the Blues.

R
Robbie 35 days ago

Scrap eligibility rules now

m
mark 35 days ago

Just another promising internet career ruined by Eddie Jones. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last.

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