Eddie Jones has responded to Mike Brown’s suggestions that members of the England squad are afraid to challenge the head coach’s decisions.
Brown wrote about his concerns within the England camp in his column for the Daily Mail following the victory against Italy in the Six Nations.
Despite the improved performance against the Italians, the former England fullback believed the team would struggle to push on unless players had more of a say over the side’s style of play.
“It seems to me that, for a good while, the players have accepted whatever game plan Eddie puts forward. In that kind of environment, it’s easier to do what he says and keep your head down.
“Eddie has a sharp tongue and he’s not afraid to use it. One minute he’ll be playing cricket with the guys, then the next he’s like a scary headmaster.
“Everyone has heard the scare stories and you don’t want to get on the wrong side of him. I challenged Eddie once and he blew up.
“Danny Care and Alex Goode both challenged him a couple of years ago and neither of them has played for England since,” Brown wrote.
‘The players decide the direction we go in’
Jones, according to RugbyPass, has now responded to Brown’s criticism of the environment which the Harlequins man believes is in place in the England camp, refuting his allegations of a “dictatorial situation”.
“How do you know they have not been challenging me? It was a surprising comment by Mike. We have a shared responsibility here. There is a forum for players to speak up,” said Jones.
The squad returned to Twickenham this weekend to continue preparations for Wales 🏴🏴
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 21, 2021
“It would be hard for me to say we have a dictatorial situation, which is what Mike Brown is alluding to. He is entitled to his opinion.
“Within our team, we have shared responsibility and do not hide away from that. I will give them a direction but ultimately the players decide the direction we go in.”
England will face a much sterner test of character than the one Italy provided when they take on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, where they will need a win to keep their Six Nations title hopes alive.