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Eddie Jones ignites Welsh row over 'illegal' scrummage

England head coach Eddie Jones has accused Wales of scrummaging "terribly illegally" as the build-up to Saturday's title showdown between the arch-rivals finally stepped up a gear.

Jones claims Warren Gatland's men pre-engage at the scrum knowing that the referee will eventually tire of awarding penalties against them out of fear of being criticised for ruining the game.

Shortly before the Australian had offered his views unprompted, Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde declared that England prop Joe Marler "definitely needs to scrummage legally, otherwise we will be pointing the finger".

But it is Jones' comments - made on the day he removed his self-imposed media gag - that have lit the fuse for a Twickenham collision that is likely to decide the winners of the 2016 Six Nations.

"Wales play the laws very well. I'm quite upset about the way they scrummage," Jones said.

"They scrummage illegally. They pre-engage all the time, which is against the laws of the game.

"We've got the stronger scrum, so we want proper scrum laws. We want the laws enforced and if they are enforced we'll get an advantage in that area."

When asked if he thought Wales had been scrummaging illegally all tournament, Jones replied: "100%. 100%. Terribly illegally."

Belfast Telegraph


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