London - The
pre-match hype ahead of Saturday's clash between England and Australia
escalated as Eddie Jones was depicted as a clown by an Australian
Underneath a headline of 'Introducing The Real Clown of Rugby',
Saturday's front page of The Australian's sports section carried a
caricature of a smiling Jones with sharpened teeth.
His face was painted with a St George's Cross, the national flag of
England, against the backdrop of a Red Rose - the emblem of the England
rugby union team.
In October, Australia coach Michael Cheika was depicted as an angry
clown by the New Zealand Herald newspaper under the banner of 'Send in
Jones, a native Australian and the Wallabies coach when they lost the
2003 World Cup final to England in Sydney, has repeatedly hit out at
the "disrespectful" treatment he felt his current side received during a
June tour of Australia that saw England win a Test series 3-0.
But an opinion piece alongside the caricature of Jones, The
Australian said: "Forget Michael Cheika. Eddie Jones is the real clown
of the world rugby circus.
"Jones is no bumbling buffoon or jovial jester. He is a menacing
clown with a dark side, terrorising poor Cheika as if he were part of
the creepy clown craze that has swept the world.
"He does not even need make-up or a costume to act the clown, just
those mischievous eyes, cheeky grin and eviscerating one-liners.
"A Jones media conference is like a dark carnival where he dissects his victims with the sharpest of tongues.
"Jones is a master of using black comedy to belittle his adversaries
and no one has been the victim of his invective more than Cheika, who in
turn has looked bemused and besieged."
Jones declined to comment on the picture and the article when asked
about The Australian's treatment of him at a pre-match news conference
Having grown up in an Australian sports environment where rugby union
often struggles for a foothold, Jones has long had an ability rivalled
by few coaches to 'sell' a game.
However, this had led to accusations that he indulges in 'mind games' designed to unsettle opponents.
In June, Steve Hansen, the coach of New Zealand, said Cheika had been "bullied" in the media by Jones.
Cheika, who played alongside Jones, at Sydney club Randwick, has been
noticeably more outspoken this week, saying the England coach risked
tarnishing his legacy at home and had a "chip on his shoulder".
Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11
Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Wood, 6
Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan
Hartley (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Jamie George,
17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Teimana Harrison,
21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Henry Slade
Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Reece
Hodge, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Lopeti
Timani, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 David Pocock, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Kane Douglas,
3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio
16 Tolu Latu, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Dean Mumm, 20 Sean
McMahon, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Henry Speight