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UK News Eddie Jones rebuked by RFU after comments on English public schools

19:54  09 august  2022
19:54  09 august  2022 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Eddie Jones has received a rare rebuke from his Rugby Football Union bosses after the England head coach had slammed the country's private school system.

Australian Jones claimed England players educated at fee-paying schools lacked resilience and leadership skills and were 'closeted' because of their upbringing.

He suggested the RFU should 'blow up' the private school system in comments which Sportsmail columnist Sir Clive Woodward said were 'divisive' and 'disrespectful'.

The RFU confirmed on Tuesday that Jones had been issued with a stern reprimand from chief executive Bill Sweeney.

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A statement read: 'RFU CEO, Bill Sweeney, spoke to the England head coach, Eddie Jones, on Sunday and confirmed the RFU position on the valued role the independent sector plays in the player pathway.'

England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach Woodward had previously called on the RFU to dress down Jones for his comments and the governing body have now confirmed one took place.

Woodward wrote in Tuesday's Sportsmail: 'Jones can say what he likes, but he seemingly has a monopoly on the voice of English rugby. 'When the RFU just stand by and let it happen, you wonder what on earth is going on. Why does Jones have the right to belittle the English game like that?'

Eddie Jones claimed that private schools produce 'closeted' rugby players who lack 'resolve' © Provided by Daily Mail Eddie Jones claimed that private schools produce 'closeted' rugby players who lack 'resolve' The RFU confirmed that Jones has been issued with a stern reprimand from chief Bill Sweeney © Provided by Daily Mail The RFU confirmed that Jones has been issued with a stern reprimand from chief Bill Sweeney

The private school sector has traditionally been a conveyor belt of talent for English rugby. Twelve of the 23 players in the England squad for their last Test against Australia in July went to fee-paying schools.

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London Irish's Henry Arundell – a product of Harrow School – is the latest to come through that pathway. Five England players who started the 2003 World Cup final win over Australia when Woodward was head coach were privately educated.

'The RFU is hugely appreciative and supportive of the role both the independent and state school sectors play in introducing boys and girls to our sport and in our player pathway,' English rugby's governing body continued.

'A collaborative approach and strong partnerships within the education sector ensure players are supported and offered opportunities to develop at all schools.

'The most recent England men's squad contained players who have benefitted from time within independent schools, including Maro Itoje and Henry Arundell, as well as many from the state sector 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 range of backgrounds.'

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