England head coach Eddie Jones has hit out at critics for “disrespectful” comments about his side following their Autumn Nations Cup win.
A second-string France side pushed England all the way in the Autumn Nations Cup final, with a last-minute try by Luke Cowan-Dickie and an Owen Farrell penalty in extra-time sparing English blushes.
Despite getting the win, England were booed by their own fans at Twickenham Stadium during the game due to the excessive amount of kicking.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) December 7, 2020
Jones asked fans and pundits to be more positive about the rugby on show, saying the sport needed support during these tough times.
“We’re trying to win and we’ve got to find a way to do that. Rugby needs to be positive at the moment.
“It’s a tough time for the sport, it’s a tough time to play rugby and we are all trying to play as good a rugby [match] as we can,” Jones said.
The fans at the stadium weren’t the only ones to share their displeasure of Jones’ tactics, with former international Andy Goode musing whether it would be good for England to lose.
At least if France do win it’ll force Eddie to change his ways for the 6 Nations by changing the kick fest to have some attacking intent and pick players on form!
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) December 6, 2020
‘It’s been tough for the players’
The former Japan coach appealed to audiences to give his player’s more respect, citing the unusual circumstances of the current season as a reason for unattractive rugby.
“Can I just say I think you are being totally disrespectful to the players the way you criticise the rugby.
“Consider the players are coming off at least a 10-month season without having any pre-season to prepare for the international game.
“It has been tough for the players and you are being disrespectful to the players.
“You should be trying to paint a much more positive picture of the sport. It is a sport we love and it is a difficult game to play,” Jones commented.
Despite the criticism and underwhelming performance against France, Jones can be happy with his side’s 2020 trophy haul after World Cup heartbreak in 2019.