Gregor Townsend condemns abuse towards Eddie Jones after Calcutta Cup clash
Jones was jostled and taunted by a group of Scottish men as he arrived in Manchester by train the day after England’s loss in Edinburgh.
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has condemned the abuse handed out to Eddie Jones in the wake of England’s Calcutta Cup defeat.
The England head coach was jostled and taunted by a group of Scottish men as he arrived in Manchester by train the day after his side’s 25-13 loss in Edinburgh.
Jones had travelled alone via standard class to be a guest of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford for Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Chelsea.
"We’ll learn a lot from this, unfortunately it’s not nice to take but it’s a great lesson for us. I take responsibility, I didn’t prepare the team well enough.”— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 24, 2018
Read what Eddie Jones made of the Calcutta Cup clash ➡️ https://t.co/ZwlO6GtBMt pic.twitter.com/lku3PnAw3B
Video footage obtained by the BBC’s Dan Roan shows Jones posing for selfies with the group, who then turned on the Australian, with one man calling him a “baldy ****” as he was ushered into a car.
Jones later revealed that he feared for his safety during the incident.
But Townsend insists Jones deserved better treatment as he praised the way his opposite number had conducted himself in the aftermath of Scotland’s victory.
Townsend said: “Look, it was really disappointing to see that. Anybody that gets verbally abused like that, it’s terrible to see, especially when it’s someone involved in our sport and a fellow coach.
“So it was not good to see and hopefully that’ll never happen again.
“No-one deserves that. I thought the way England handled (the defeat), which would have been a big disappointment for their players, to how they spoke after the game, to the coach – showed they were good losers as well as being very good winners over the last couple of years.”
Scottish Rugby have already issued a strong condemnation after footage of the incident emerged.
A statement read: “Scottish Rugby is appalled by the verbal abuse suffered by Eddie Jones.
“The disgusting behaviour of those involved does not represent the values of our sport or its fans.
“The dignity Eddie and the England team showed on Saturday is in stark contrast to this ugly incident.”
🎥 Even locks need to be able to pass out the back door these days. Richie Gray with this effort during the two-on-ones in the warm-up 👌🏻 pic.twitter.com/bTWxxqtSri— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 6, 2018
Jones has resolved not to use public transport again following the experience and is frustrated given his willingness to engage with supporters.
“I’m a human being. I don’t consider myself any different from anyone else, so for me to travel on public transport I thought was OK. But I’ll make sure I won’t in future. It’s as simple as that,” Jones said after the incident.
“I can’t because it was shown on Sunday what happens when I do. That’s the world we live in. I was massively surprised. It wasn’t comfortable.
Familiar and new faces join the Scotland squad in training at Oriam today ahead of this Saturday's match v Ireland in Dublin 👍 pic.twitter.com/OAh1Aakx2U— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 5, 2018
“I never knock back a request for a selfie unless I’m racing to somewhere. So I try and do the right thing by the fans, but if this happens then you’ve got to have a look at your own safety.”
When asked whether the abuse was physical or verbal, Jones replied: “A bit of both.
“It’s part of the challenge. As an Australian coaching England, there were always going to be challenges and that’s just one of them.”