Eddie Jones implores England rugby fans to ‘respect’ the players’ decision to take the knee before games after football stars were booed by supporters and reveals he’s had chats with Gareth Southgate, David Moyes and Arsene Wenger for coaching tips
- Eddie Jones has urged England rugby fans not to boo players taking the knee
- England’s football stars were twice jeered by supporters for making the gesture
- Jones wants fans to respect players’ decision but admitted he’s not sure they will
Eddie Jones implored England rugby fans to respect his players if they take the knee this summer, after the footballers were booed for the act.
In the Six Nations most England players chose to kneel before games, with some exceptions.
The new group, which has been selected for for next month’s Tests against the USA and Canada at Twickenham, will discuss and decide their individual preferences in due course.
Eddie Jones has urged England rugby fans not to boo players’ decision to take the knee
England’s football stars were jeered for making the gesture in two of their friendlies this month
Jones said: ‘Respect is so important. The team for the previous Six Nations had a difficult conversation because there are guys with all sorts of different views.
‘What we are trying to do is respect diversity. That’s such an important part of not only a sporting team but society.
‘We don’t control how fans behave. I would like the fans to respect the players’ decision. Whether they will, I am not sure.’
Jones, meanwhile, has also revealed he will be tuning in to the European Championship in search of ideas to strengthen his own performance as England coach.
Jones has struck up a good relationship with Gareth Southgate and has taken part in regular virtual chats with the Three Lions boss, David Moyes, Arsene Wenger and coaches from the NBA and NFL to discuss the challenges of working in sport during the Covid era.
Gareth Southgate has been pleading with supporters to back the players and not boo them
England football fans have TWICE booed the team for taking a knee
England’s football supporters booed the team when they took the knee before their international friendly against Austria.
Gareth Southgate called on fans to back the gesture but the same booing occurred in their next match against Romania.
The England boss has since insisted the players are ‘more determined than ever’ to continue taking the knee and said they have ‘a responsibility to raise awareness’ in an open letter to fans ahead of Euro 2020.
England launch their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on Sunday and with his own side’s summer series not beginning until June 27, Jones will be on the look-out over the coming weeks for pointers that might translate to rugby.
‘I know Gareth reasonably well. We have chatted over the last period of time and I’ll be following his interests and the team’s interests,’ he said.
‘They obviously have a talented group of players as evidenced by two English teams being in the European Cup final and one team in the Europa League final.
‘They have got some great talent at the moment and it’s about how that talent can come together and play as one team where players have to play in different roles.
‘It’s no different to what we have to do in terms of sometimes players have to play a slightly different role to what they do at their club because it suits the team better. I will be watching that.
‘Obviously there are some good players in other teams so we will see how the coaches get the best out of those players.
‘Again, I’ve had a few chats with the Belgium coach (Roberto Martinez) and he’s got some talent there.
‘How they handle the expectation of being one of the favourites with outstanding players like Kevin De Bruyne will be of interest.’