England Rugby — Eddie Jones in row with Springboks fans after England defeat


England head coach Eddie Jones has confirmed he was involved in a row with South Africa fans at Ellis Park, Johannesburg, after his side lost 42-39 in the first Test of their summer tour.

The Australian confirmed after the match that their had been an exchange of words with some local fans, who had watched their side come back from a 24-3 deficit early in the match. It is England’s fifth successive defeat.

Asked in a Sky Sports interview about a rumoured altercation after the match with supporters, Jones said: “They’ve always got something to say here.” Asked if he had responded, Jones added: “Of course I did.”

When asked exactly what he had said, Jones replied: “That’s not for me to share with you. I’m sure it’s on a mobile phone somewhere in the world.”

Jones made light of the incident later in his post-match media conference. “I asked the fan where I can get a good bottle of Pinotage and I’m still waiting for the answer. If someone can help me out, please help me out.

“I wouldn’t worry about that. It was such a great game of rugby and you are worried about one little conversation in the tunnel about a bottle of red wine.”

Jones is under increasing pressure as England coach, with a little over a year until the next Rugby World Cup in Japan.

His reign began with back-to-back Six Nations triumphs in 2016 and 2017, including a Grand Slam in his first campaign, but Ireland deposed them as champions this year and they suffered defeats against Scotland, France, Ireland and the Barbarians before they set off for a three-Test series against South Africa this month.

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