Eddie Jones involved in explosive exchange with journalist as ex-England boss hits out at ‘worst’ interview

Colin Newboult
New Japan head coach Eddie Jones.

Former Wallabies and England head coach Eddie Jones.

Eddie Jones has once again lashed out at the media, this time at British journalist Owen Slot during an interview released on Friday.

Slot, who is the Chief Sports Writer for The Times, is a long time critic of the current Japan head coach having particularly slammed his huge turnover of coaches while England boss.

Jones initially had success at the Red Rose, taking them to the Six Nations Grand Slam and a 3-0 series victory over Australia in 2016.

In fact, England would win a record-equalling 18 Tests in a row before their run was eventually ended by Ireland in 2017.

History between the two

It was in that year Slot began to question the number of people going in and out of the door at Pennyhill Park – the national team’s training base.

The journalist then released an explosive piece in 2021, speaking to several former employees who detailed the 64-year-old’s uncompromising management methods.

Jones responded by calling Slot a liar before they were reunited over two years later as the ex-Wallabies head coach agreed to an interview request.

He was challenged on a number of subjects by the Chiefs Sports Writer, but the Brave Blossoms head honcho eventually snapped and resorted to criticising the journalist’s character.

“I find you very negative, a quite spiteful person. You’re a spiteful person. Sad, very sad. I feel sad for you,” he told Slot during The Times interview.

He added: “I can’t believe how negative you are. It really intrigues me. At some stage, I must have done something really bad to you and you can’t get it out of your system.”

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Jones also went on to say, “this is one of the worst interviews I’ve ever done”, but he did address some of the points Slot made in a wide-ranging chat.

The Australian staunchly defended his approach over the past few years, despite Slot putting it to him that Jones had “lost his temper” with the coaches before England’s tour to Australia in 2022.

“But that was a tour we won. So, you’ve got some really good evidence there,” was Jones’ sarcastic response.

“That was only the second team ever in the history of England rugby to win in Australia. And I was the head coach of both of them. So you might want to put that in the pipe.”

Not ‘overbearing’

Jones did agree that he was far too abrasive earlier in his career but insisted that he improved that aspect of his character when in charge of England.

“At times certainly I could have been overbearing. I don’t think so much with England; when I was younger, definitely,” he said.

Jones was then asked about Brad Davis, who left his role at the Wallabies just prior to the World Cup. Slot stated that Davis had “the equivalent of a mental breakdown” after working with the 64-year-old.

“I thought we had a really good coaching team going to the World Cup. And maybe we had one coach drop out which was Brad. In the end he struggled with the job,” Jones said.

“Could I have looked after him any better? There’s always ways of looking after people better. But I don’t particularly have any regrets. I gave him an opportunity.”

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