Scott Hastings condemns Scotland fans who abused England coach Jones
Jones has resolved not to use public transport again in the wake of the incident.
Scotland great Scott Hastings has branded fans who directed verbal and physical abuse at Eddie Jones as “scum of the earth” and called for police action.
Jones revealed on Wednesday that he feared for his safety while catching a train from Edinburgh to Manchester on the morning after England’s Calcutta Cup defeat at Murrayfield.
The Australian travelled alone via standard class to be a guest of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, before receiving similar treatment at the hands of football fans on the final leg of his journey from Manchester to London.
Video footage shot in Manchester and obtained by the BBC’s Dan Roan shows Jones posing for selfies with Scotland supporters, who then turn on him. One calls him a “baldy ****” as he is ushered into a car.
VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: England coach Eddie Jones being verbally abused as he arrived in Manchester on Sunday after rail journey from Edinburgh. Disgusting after he was good enough to pose for photos. Now says doesn’t feel safe on public transport. (Warning: contains offensive language) pic.twitter.com/z2RetgKZOG— Dan Roan (@danroan) March 1, 2018
Following a separate incident, British Transport Police are investigating a report of verbal abuse against Jones after officers were sent to meet his train as it arrived into London Euston on Sunday evening.
“It’s terrible, absolutely ridiculous,” Hastings told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I think a lot of Scotland rugby fans and former internationals just can’t believe this thing happens in this day and age.”
Speaking on Wednesday, Jones cited comments made by Hastings’ brother, Gavin, who said in the build-up to the game that “you just want to rub (Jones’) face in the dirt” as a possible reason behind the abuse.
There are some unruly people who are scum of the earth Scott Hastings
“I’m not aware of what Gavin said, but these gentlemen, if you can even call them gentlemen, they should be named and shamed,” Scott Hastings added.
“It is very unfair on Eddie Jones. He had a few boos after the game but I understand when they went to the after-match function they were very magnanimous and respectful. Unfortunately there are some unruly people who are scum of the earth.
“I have to get my point across. These people should be named, shamed and brought to the attention of the police.”
Hopefully something we will never see again. https://t.co/4kM6nrB3Ek— Gregor Townsend (@gregortownsend) March 1, 2018
Scottish Rugby offered strong condemnation upon seeing the footage which has been widely circulated on social media, while former British and Irish Lion John Beattie has apologised to Jones, tweeting “so sorry”. Coach Gregor Townsend said: “Hopefully something we will never see again.”
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.”
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.— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 1, 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 on Wednesday.
“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.
not clever! But however pathetic, this is not my experience of genuine Scottish rugby fans. Am sure Eddie knows that. Still F'ing annoying!! https://t.co/r5kl9DNCHA— Will Carling (@willcarling) March 1, 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.”