World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward has hit back at England head coach Eddie Jones over recent comments he made about the English private education system.
Labelling Jones’s comments as “divisive and disrespectful”, Woodward also criticised the Rugby Football Union’s lack of response to the matter.
Belittling the notion that privately educated players lack leadership and the ability to deal with adversity due to their education. Woodward has said that Jones’s comments are completely unfounded.
Turning his attention RFU Chief Bill Sweeney, Woodward suggested that their lack of response means that they either agree with Jones or lack the leadership to do anything about it.
Woodward also questioned Jones’s timing, mentioning the current legal battle the game is facing from former players who are suffering from long term brain injuries.
Jones mentioned in his interview with i-newspaper that he felt the private school system is what limits the inclusivity of the game as a whole.
Another fact that Woodward has disputed rather pointing out that by saying the private school system should be blown up, Jones has in fact created further division.
“But that is not what he is saying. More than ever, sport is an important vehicle in promoting equality and diversity. You cannot achieve that by dismissing an entire group — it is not possible.”
“As a coach, you do not care one bit about where your players went to school. You pick them on merit.”
Putting the focus back on Jones, Woodward said that England’s failures do not lay at the feet of the schooling system but rather with the head coach.
“There are brilliant people working in both private and state schools. They are providing Jones with the tools to do something special by producing excellent players.”
“Make no mistake, England are the envy of the world when it comes to player development and the depth of talent. As their head coach you have zero excuses.”