“In anyone’s language, it is a really bad look.”
Clive Woodward has questioned the “ridiculous” decision to allow Eddie Jones to act as a consultant for Japanese Top League side Suntory Sungoliath.
England head coach Jones has been working in a consultant role for the Japanese side, who boast All Blacks star Beauden Barrett in their squad, during the break-in test rugby.
World Cup-winning coach Woodward was writing in his Daily Mail column about the decision, and questioned why the English RFU have allowed Jones to turn his attention away from his main job with them.
Beauden Barrett reveals that Eddie Jones is helping him become a “much better player” due to his involvement at Japanese club Suntory.
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) April 27, 2021
Clive Woodward on Eddie Jones.
“This makes English rugby look ridiculous and makes you question once again what exactly is going on,” Woodward wrote.
“I am one of the very few people who is qualified to state, categorically, that if you are going to coach England in the professional era, you can afford absolutely zero distractions — and I mean zero.
“In anyone’s language, it is a really bad look. The England coach in Japan coaching and advising with Suntory and Beauden Barrett just weeks after a miserably poor Six Nations campaign.”
‘Eddie has been a distracted figure for a good while.’
Woodward believes Jones has been “distracted” from his duties as England head coach for some time now, speculating that their loss in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final was partly due to Jones’ lack of focus.
The former Lions coach believes England’s lack of direction is responsible for their recent poor performances, something which he thinks has not yet been addressed.
“The failure to mount a proper critical debrief after the 2019 World Cup meant England have been meandering aimlessly ever since and this is just another example. They are beginning to add up,” Woodward argued.
“Eddie has been a distracted figure for a good while. I noticed it in the week before the World Cup final in Japan when there was simply too much stuff going on in the build-up… Nothing has changed since.”