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Jones' Lions comments provoke fury

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Serious backlash over Eddie Jones' 'disparaging' Lions comments

The Six Nations may be over, but that does not mean that Eddie Jones has slunk out of the limelight.

The outspoken England head coach has once again riled up his closest rivals by ruling himself out of contention for the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.
He was quite dismissive of the role, describing it as an “ambassador job”, in what can be seen as another dig at his rival Warren Gatland.

However, just as they had throughout the Six Nations, many fans from the home nations have not taken kindly to Jones’ comments. Many fans have said that they would not want him as coach of the Lions, as he is has increasingly become an unpopular figure amongst Welsh, Scottish and Irish fans. Moreover, many fans feel that he would not have been considered for the job, and has effectively ruled himself out rather than being rejected.

Some fans have also highlighted the fact that he is not good enough to coach the Lions anyway, which is understandable. Had Jones made these comments in 2016 or 2017, where he had coached England to back to back Six Nations titles and a record 18-match winning streak, he would have been in a better position.

Now that England have faltered over the past year, Jones’ chances of coaching the Lions have significantly decreased, with many fans favouring Gatland over the Australian. Should Gatland choose to coach the Lions again, he would undoubtedly be the favourite, having won in Australia in 2013, and managed a historic draw against New Zealand in 2017.

Ultimately, the thing that has riled a lot of fans up, and may well be the crux of the issue, is that this is disrespectful towards the Lions. Whether Jones would be in contention or not is irrelevant compared to the way that he has besmirched one of rugby’s most unique and proudest traditions.

Jones has a history of controversial comments, and this will certainly not be the last time he finds himself in hot water, but he may have overstepped the mark this time with some fans.

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Serious backlash over Eddie Jones' 'disparaging' Lions comments