Rugby World Cup 2019: Eddie Jones refuses to wade into high tackle debate in wake of England vs USA

A fiery encounter in Kobe could result in England receiving their first ban of the 2019 tournament

Jack de Menezes
Kobe Misaki Stadium
Friday 27 September 2019 07:07
Comments
Eddie Jones reacts to England's Rugby World Cup win over USA

Eddie Jones refused to discuss either the tackle on Owen Farrell that saw John Quill red carded for the United States or the one by Piers Francis that could result in England receiving their first ban of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Quill was sent off late in England’s 45-7 victory for a horrendous tackle on replacement Farrell, hitting him with his shoulder to the head after the whistle had been blown by referee Nic Berry. After a TMO review, Berry showed Ireland-born flanker Quill a straight red card, and he is set to miss the rest of the USA’s World Cup as a result.

But Berry and TMO Ben Skeen did not pick up on England centre Francis, who hit USA full-back Will Hooley high with the very first tackle of the match. Francis will now face disciplinary action after being cited on Friday, with Australia’s Reece Hodge and Samoa’s Rey Lee-Lo both receiving three-week bans for similar tackles, but Jones went on the offensive in his refusal to discuss anything to do with the incidents in question, or World Rugby’s mid-week condemnation of refereeing performances at the World Cup.

“I have just said that the judiciary would look after those incidents,” said Jones. “I have already said what I have said. I have got nothing else to say. So work it out. If you haven’t got anything else I am out of here.

“I am not talking about those tackles guys. I am going to leave that to the judiciary. That is the process. If you don’t understand that I am sorry. I can’t say any more. You create your own headlines. I am a rugby coach.

“I don’t speak to the players about tackling high because they know where to tackle. People make mistakes. People always make mistakes. We play a tough physical game and we go out hitting people as hard as we can. We want to do it legally but players make mistakes.”

The decision not to discuss the tackles come on the same day as the full details into Australian Reece Hodge’s ban were made public, in which the wing claimed he was unaware of World Rugby’s new Decision-making for high tackles framework, raising serious questions of Michael Cheika and his backroom team.

But George Kruis, the England lock, revealed that England rarely discuss avoiding high tackles as they know themselves what is fair and foul. “We don’t get a say in how it’s run, and the referees don’t get a say in how it’s run. For us it’s one not to talk about, but action. They are the rules and we have to stick to them, and learn to play by.”

Francis’s tackle may not be the only one that catches the eye of the citing commissioner after replacement flanker Mark Wilson was involved in an awkward-looking tackle on Hooley, resulting in the Cambridge-born full-back being carried off the field and taken to hospital with what USA boss Gary Gold described as “a very bad concussion”.

With his side taking 10 points from 10, Jones was pleased to see his side came through a second match unscathed, meaning who could have 31 fit and available players for next weekend’s third pool match against Argentina, pending any disciplinary issues. Both Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will be put through their paces on Friday morning to see how they have recovered from hamstring and ankle injuries respectively before joining the rest of the team and staff in taking two days off before resuming their World Cup campaign on Sunday, when Jones says they will enter “stage two” of the campaign to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

“They’re free, free to jump off boats in harbours, throw things around, anything,” said Jones in a playful nod to the 2011 World Cup debacle. “If they want to go somewhere else they can. We’re giving them a break. A few of the players have got families here so they can spend time with their families.

“That’s stage one of the tournament done. We move into stage two now which is Argentina, then we’ve got stage three, four and five. It’s like the Tour de France.

“You don’t need to be in the yellow jersey now. It’s like Lance Armstrong, the percentage of time you need to be in the yellow jersey is the time that it counts, not when it doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter who’s in it now. It’s inconsequential.”

Dowload or listen to the latest episode of The Indy Rugby Podcast.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in