Six Nations

Scotland's Telfer slams Trump-style Jones

2017-01-30 22:20
Eddie Jones (Getty)

London - Scotland rugby union great Jim Telfer has blasted England coach Eddie Jones for acting the "big man" in a manner similar to that of US President Donald Trump.

Ahead of this weekend's start of the Six Nations Championship, former international back-row Telfer was also witheringly critical of England fans.

Telfer also dismissed England's headquarters ground in the southwest London suburb of Twickenham -- where Scotland have not won since 1983 -- as a "concrete jungle", saying an afternoon there strengthened the case for Scottish independence.

"Eddie Jones doesn't want to beat teams, he wants to demolish them, which I find a bit disappointing," Telfer told BBC Sport as he gave his view on the Australian's approach on Monday.

"To me he's building his whole team on set-piece and the building of the attack comes secondary," Telfer, Scotland's coach when they last won the Championship in 1999, added.

"Having coached Australia and Japan you would have thought the opposite would be the case," insisted the former British and Irish Lions assistant coach.

"The way he speaks, it's a bit like Donald Trump. He wants to be the big man, you know?

"His (Jones's) goal is to win the World Cup in 2019 and so far it's gone well, but I think he could be a little more circumspect, show a bit more respect for the opposition.

"He doesn't seem to show much respect and it could come back to bite him."

As for Twickenham, Telfer added: "Twickenham I find intimidating. The whole atmosphere is intimidating, there's so many of them, three tiers of them.

"If you ever think about wanting separation (for Scotland) from England just sit 10 minutes in Twickenham and listen to them.

"They (the England fans) think they're superior and a lot of them will come from the south-east, bags of money and bags of this and bags of that. They don't really appreciate the other team.

"In France they just boo the other team, in Argentina they boo the other team, in England it's just disdain -- 'Why are we playing these plebs?'.

"I don't like Twickenham; a concrete jungle, nothing attractive about it at all."

Jones, who has won all 13 of his Tests as England coach since taking over after the Red Rose brigade's first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup on home soil, is unlikely to take offence at the Trump comparison.

Indeed he had already likened his own methods to those Trump deployed in the US presidential election, saying they both relied on hammering home a clear message.

"My vision was that they should be more 'English', so I kept repeating the message in different ways," Jones told Saturday's Daily Mail.

Asked if his methods mirrored those of Trump, Jones added: "Yes, like Trump. Trump's clever, there's no denying that.

"The mantra 'Make America great again' -- he repeats and repeats it. Americans were pounded with that message.

"People on the television say, 'I think he can make America great again'. There's no evidence he can; but he's convinced them. He's changed mindsets. That's how you win. And having super-talented players."

Grand Slam champions England begin the defence of their Six Nations title at home to France on Saturday, when Scotland face Ireland.

England and Scotland meet in the latest edition of international rugby union's oldest fixture, with a history dating back to 1871, in the fourth round of the Six Nations at Twickenham on March 11.

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  eddie jones  |  rugby


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