Eddie Jones again apologised for the comments he made about Wales and Ireland but brushed off claims they would provide the latter with motivation ahead of England’s final Six Nations match.
England face Ireland on Saturday, but Jones is dominating the agenda ahead of the Test after footage emerged on Wednesday of the Australian coach referring to the Irish as “scummy” at a private function back in July.
Jones and the Rugby Football Union issued apologies soon after the footage came to light, and the England coach started his pre-Ireland press conference with a brief statement.
“OK, I’d just like to say I’ve apologised for the remarks,” Jones said. “I sincerely mean that and I really don’t have anything else to say on the matter, so I am happy to obviously answer questions on a fantastic game that’s coming up but I think the other matter is dead.”
Jones was then questioned further about his comments, and the impact they have had ahead of the Ireland game and responded: “I’ve made the statement, I don’t need to say anything else on it.”
Asked whether the footage could come back to haunt his side at Twickenham, Jones added: “”Ireland are preparing for a Grand Slam. They don’t need any extra motivation.”
The England coach’s thoughts were echoed by Ireland back row Peter O’Mahony, who shot down any notion that the furore would aid his side on Saturday.
“You are certainly on the wrong page if you are looking for stuff like that to motivate you,” he told a media conference in Dublin.
“We have a plan we go through during the week and things that motivate us but that sort of stuff certainly isn’t one.”
Jones said he would take time to assess whether he will continue doing private functions, but only after his side play Ireland this weekend.
He received support on social media, after the comments came to light, with ex-England captain Will Carling tweeting:
This happens up and down all the countries in the 6 Nations – it’s called humour. Never serious, just gentle digs. https://t.co/cVTd0QNe0Q I know he is in a public position, but surely we all see this for what it is?? SURELY !!!!
— Will Carling (@willcarling) March 14, 2018