Jones teases Erasmus for criticizing referees

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By Creative Media News

Eddie Jones stated that referees must be treated with respect after joking that Rassie Erasmus would take a page from José Mourinho’s book and evade his matchday ban by hiding in a laundry basket on Saturday. Jones also questioned whether Erasmus’ rants and South Africa’s siege mentality were intended to motivate the world champions.

Erasmus, the director of rugby for South Africa, tacitly criticized the English referee, Wayne Barnes, when he posted a series of videos from this month’s tight loss to France, along with several snarky comments.

Barnes and his family have received death threats, prompting the Rugby Football Union to issue a strongly worded letter to its South African equivalent condemning Erasmus’ behavior.

Jones teases erasmus for criticizing referees
Jones teases erasmus for criticizing referees

After banning Erasmus for a year for a similar outburst during the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour, World Rugby strengthened its restrictions and last week swiftly banned him from match-day activities against Italy and England.

Jones made an apparent reference to the 2005 incident in which Mourinho, while serving a ban, sneaked into Chelsea’s dressing room to give a team talk before being smuggled out by the kit man, when he stated, “He may arrive in a laundry box.

Hasn’t that been done before? I’m certain he will find a way to enter. The only thing I would add is that we must respect and take care of the referees. They are a vital component of our game.”

Jones responded when asked if Erasmus’ behavior purposely contributes to South Africa’s siege mentality, “When you’ve won something, you need the drive to do it again, and maybe this is a brilliant approach to find motivation.”

Jones remembered that in 2007 he was fined A$10,000 for comments he made criticizing a referee when coaching the Queensland Reds and that he paid the fine out of his pocket as a severe lesson in the need to control his tongue.

Jones was penalized by the RFU in 2020 for comments he made regarding Ben O’Keeffe following England’s Six Nations victory against Wales. In contrast to Erasmus’ outbursts and those of one of the candidates to succeed him as England head coach, Ronan O’Gara, who has just been punished with a 10-match ban – his fourth suspension in the past year – he has mainly maintained his silence.

The RFU is attempting to crack down on the abuse of match officials at all levels in response to a worrying rise in occurrences, and Jones added: “Since 1998, I’ve understood that we shouldn’t comment about referees.

It seems straightforward to me. Play the game; the referee is in charge; if he makes errors, we must accept them. If we desire a competitive game, referees will make mistakes. If we’re not going to play basketball, we might as well name it basketball. I am not flawless.

“I’ve certainly said things that weren’t appropriate, but the longer I teach, the more I realize we need to protect the refs.”

Jones has made four substitutions for this weekend’s match against South Africa, with vice-captains Ellis Genge and Jack Nowell being replaced by Mako Vunipola and Tommy Freeman in the starting lineup. Jamie George and Alex Coles have also joined the pack.

Jones stated, “We must tackle the challenge of their entrance via the front door.” “This is a different game, and we’ve chosen a different team to neutralize their strengths and capitalize on our own.”

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