Eddie Jones slams fans for treating coaches like ‘an idiot’

Jared Wright
Eddie Jones has spoken candidly about the reception he may receive at Twickenham ahead of the Barbarians clash with the World XV.

Ahead of his return to Twickenham, former England head coach Eddie Jones spoke candidly about the reception he may receive and the impact social media has on players and coaches.

Jones takes charge of the Barbarians on Sunday in a star-studded clash with the World XV, coached by former All Blacks boss Sir Steve Hansen.

It is the first time Jones will coach a team at Twickenham since England’s 27-13 loss to South Africa, which ultimately led to his sacking.

Returning to Twickenham

In an interview with ABC ahead of the match, the now Wallabies and Barbarians coach was asked if it felt like closure going back to the home of English rugby.

“I don’t have any real feelings,” Jones said. “I think, once you move on from a job, you tend to put that last job behind you.

“I left, albeit not when I wanted to, but certainly, I had a good feeling about the players I was coaching, and that’s the only thing that counts.

“So yeah, I’m just looking forward to this week, coaching the Barbarians.”

Fans booed Jones’ England side off the pitch in his final game in charge of the side.

When asked how he thinks he will be received upon his return, the Australian responded swiftly: “I don’t really care.”

Social media

Jones also commented on the departure of Damien Hardwick, who stepped down from his role as coach of AFL side Richmond.

Hardwick’s decision came as a shock after he held the role for 14 years and made the decision with immediate effect and during the season.

Burnout has been cited as part of his reasoning that Hardwick resigned, and Jones says that social media is a big problem in modern sports.

“I think the big issue about it is social media. I don’t think it’s the coaching like coaching hasn’t changed from the 1990s to now is still the same,” Jones explained.

“You know you make a choice to coach, and you know that you’re going to be examined by the results. You know, if you don’t win, you’re going to be under pressure. And we make that choice to go into the game. So nothing’s really changed.

“I think what has changed is the amount of comments about coaching and some of the comments you see on social media where they treat coaches like an idiot.

“That’s a product of a society we’re in, and we can’t change it, and that probably makes it a lot harder for coaches. So certainly, from my point of view, I’ve taken the view that I don’t read any of it. I don’t read the positive stuff. I don’t read the negative stuff and just try to get on with it.”

Coaching the Barbarians

This is not the first time that Jones will be leading the Barbarians, and he spoke highly of the invitational team that he believes is an important part of rugby.

“The big thing for me this week is coaching the Barbarians,” he said when asked what he looks forward to upon returning to Twickenham.

“You know the Barbarians are an important institution in rugby. They’re very much about the spirit of the game. We want to play with good spirit, good endeavour, play some good rugby and then the second bonus is working with Quade (Cooper) and Samu (Kerevi), who are potentially World Cup members, so to see where they’re up.

“Koroibete was going to be on the other team, but I think, unfortunately, he got injured for his club on the weekend, so he won’t be there. But certainly, working with Quade and Samu and hopefully coaching a Barbarians team that plays with a lot of spirit will be important.”

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