England head coach Eddie Jones reprimanded by the RFU after facing backlash for criticizing rugby’s reliance on the private school system which he says produces ‘locked in’ players who lack “determination”
- Eddie Jones made headlines over the weekend for his comments on public schools
- England head coach says private education system should be ‘blown up’
- Sportsmail columnist Sir Clive Woodward condemned the view as ‘divisive’
- Jones received a stern reprimand from RFU chief Bill Sweeney
- The RFU also highlighted the importance of private schools to the English game
Eddie Jones has received a rare rebuke from his Rugby Football Union bosses after the England head coach criticized the country’s private school system.
Australian Jones claimed England players trained in fee-paying schools lacked resilience and leadership and were ‘locked in’ due to their upbringing.
He suggested the RFU should ‘blow up’ the private school system in comments which Sportsmail columnist Sir Clive Woodward called ‘diverse’ and ‘disrespectful’.
The RFU confirmed on Tuesday that Jones had received a severe reprimand from chief executive Bill Sweeney.
A statement read: “RFU CEO Bill Sweeney spoke to England head coach Eddie Jones on Sunday and confirmed RFU’s position on the valuable role the independent sector plays in the player journey.
England coach Woodward, the 2003 World Cup winner, had previously asked the RFU to slam Jones for his comments and the governing body have now confirmed there was one.
Woodward wrote in the Tuesday sports mail: ‘Jones can say what he wants, but he apparently has a monopoly on the voice of English rugby. “When the RFU sits there and lets it go, you wonder what’s going on. Why does Jones have the right to depreciate the English game in this way?
Eddie Jones has claimed private schools produce ‘locked-in’ rugby players who lack ‘determination’
The RFU confirmed that Jones received a severe reprimand from chief Bill Sweeney
The private school sector has traditionally been a conduit for talent in English rugby. Twelve of the 23 players in England’s squad for their final test against Australia in July went to fee-paying schools.
Henry Arundell of the London Irish – a product of the Harrow School – is the latest to follow this path. Five England players who started in the 2003 World Cup final victory over Australia when Woodward was head coach have undergone private training.
“The RFU greatly appreciates and supports the role that the independent and public school sectors play in bringing boys and girls into our sport and into our playing journey,” the English rugby governing body continued.
Sportsmail columnist Sir Clive Woodward condemned Jones’ comments as ‘disrespectful’
Current England players such as Henry Arundell (L) and Maro Itoje (R) have undergone private training
“A collaborative approach and strong partnerships within the education sector ensure stakeholders are supported and provide opportunities for development across all schools.
“The most recent England men’s squad included players who benefited from time spent at independent schools, including Maro Itoje and Henry Arundell, as well as many public sector players, including Jonny Hill and Courtney Lawes.
“As a union, we are always working to broaden the appeal and accessibility of rugby union to boys and girls from a wide variety of backgrounds.”