Jones 'feels sad' for Woodward after call for England 'scrutiny'

By Sports Desk December 02, 2022

England head coach Eddie Jones has hit back after criticism from Clive Woodward.

The team's former head coach called for England's situation – including Jones' position – to be "scrutinised" should they fail to beat Scotland in next year's Six Nations opener.

England suffered a 27-13 defeat to world champions South Africa on Saturday, having also recently been beaten by Argentina at Twickenham, with doubts growing over their credentials ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup following a poor showing during the Autumn internationals.

With just one win in November against Japan, England's schedule concluded with a loss to a Springboks team missing key European-based players.

Woodward led England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup crown and he believes Jones' position should be under threat ahead of the latest Rugby Football Union (RFU) review, writing in his Daily Mail column: "England are not just losing, they are going backwards at an alarming rate of knots.

"A full and totally transparent review must be done immediately to look into where the team are at. As head coach, Eddie Jones has serious questions to answer. Everything must be scrutinised."

 

Speaking to Men's Health UK, Jones issued a sharp response, claiming he is currently at the peak of his coaching powers.

"I feel sad for him [Woodward]," he said. "If that is the best thing he has to do in his life, then he hasn't a lot to do.

"I'm 62 now and I think in pure coaching terms I am coaching better than I ever have. Results aren't always perfect, but I'm happy with how I have been coaching.

"After this, I want to do something really meaningful. I've enjoyed England a lot, it was a bit of a rescue job at the start, now rebuilding, and I am confident I will leave things in good shape."

Jones has already said he will leave the role after next year's World Cup.

Related items

  • Hail King: Stand-in captain's 79 guides Windies to 28-run win over SA on successful return to Sabina Park Hail King: Stand-in captain's 79 guides Windies to 28-run win over SA on successful return to Sabina Park

    It was a welcome return of international cricket to Sabina Park, even moreso for stand-in captain Brandon King, who led from the front as West Indies downed South Africa by 28 runs in the first of their three Twenty20 (T20) warm-up encounters on Thursday.

    King, who is leading the team for the first time on his home soil, gave the decent size crowd much to cheer about with a well-played 79 off 45 balls, which assisted the Caribbean side to 175-8 from their allotment, before Matthew Forde (3-27), Gudakesh Motie (3-25) and Obed McCoy (2-15), restricted South Africa to 147 in 19.5 overs.

    Despite the absence of the main scoreboard –which has been out for almost four years now –as well as an underprepared tabled press area, King and company ensured that the first international game at the venue since 2022, was a successful one.

    The 29-year-old, who is deputizing for compatriot Rovman Powell, attributed his Player-of-the-Match knock, which included six fours and six maximums, to the familiar conditions.

    “Obviously it is leading up to the World Cup so we want to be playing good cricket and we got the win today, so we are happy with that and I think we played well all around,” King said in a post-game interview.

    “I had the advantage of knowing the conditions well and I know that it is easiest to bat when it’s the new ball so I had to try and get a good start and I executed well. At the mid-way point I think we had 200-220 in mind as we had wickets in hand but it is a difficult wicket to bat on when the ball gets older, but we still managed to get a competitive total on this wicket,” he added.

    After being asked to take first strike, King started positively, but lost opening partner Johnson Charles (one) in the fourth over with the score at 36.

    However, he found another useful ally in Kyle Mayers, and the added a further 79 runs for the second wicket, with King, the aggressor raising his 10th international half-century off 27 balls in the sixth over when he drove a length delivery from Lungi Ngidi to the midwicket boundary.

    The skipper continued to take the South African bowlers to task, before he eventually went, reaching for one of Andile Phehlukwayo that came off the toe of the bat and was caught by his opposite number Rassie van der Dussen.

    Still, at 115-2 after 11 overs, West Indies remained on course for a massive total, but then came the familiar collapse as they lost three wickets in quick succession. Mayers was first to go for a 25-ball 34, including three sixes and a solitary four, with Andre Fletcher (one) and Fabian Allen (one) following.

    In fact, apart from vice-captain Roston Chase, who made a measured unbeaten 32 off 30 balls, which had two fours and a six, none of the batsmen got into double figures.

    Phehlukwayo (3-28) and Ottneil Baartman (3-26) did the damage for South Africa.

    In reply, South Africa started with Quinton De Cock driving Matthew Forde’s first ball, a full length delivery, straight down the ground. However, the 22-year-old Barbadian responded immediately as he served up another full length delivery, just around off stump, which forced de Kock into another drive, but the left-hander got a slight edge and Andre Fletcher made no mistakes behind the stumps.

    Debutant Ryan Rickelton (six) also had a brief stay in the middle, and from there, the visitors laboured, despite Reeza Hendricks making his 15th T20 international half-century. Hendricks, who was ninth man out with just two balls left of the innings, made a career-best 87 off 51 balls with six sixes and six fours.

    Captain Rassie van der Dussen (17) and Matthew Breetzke (19) were the only other South African batsmen to reach double figures.

    The second and third games of the series are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, at the same venue, ahead of the much-anticipated June-1-29 T20 World Cup hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

  • Last chance: discarded Windies, SA players gets shot at redemption as warm-up series bowls off Last chance: discarded Windies, SA players gets shot at redemption as warm-up series bowls off

    Half of their respective squads might be unavailable, but that doesn’t make the three-match warm-up series between West Indies and South Africa any less important, and both will be hoping to make a statement heading into the ICC Men’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup.

    Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Holder, Andre Russell and Alzarri Joseph are out for West Indies, while Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Tristan Stubbs, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada for South Africa. Though all are not still engaged in the Indian Premier League (IPL), some, like Pooran and Hope, are being rested and others, like Rabada, are recovering from illness.

    Still, the upside to the contests is that discarded players, and those out-of-form players in the squad, now have an opportunity to convince their coaches –albeit for Thursday’s first game at Sabina Park – as the ICC expects all confirmed squads on Saturday, May 25.

    First ball is 2:00pm.

    Brandon King, who has been charged with leading the depleted West Indies side, knows that much and, as such, is expecting players to show their worth ahead of the June 1-29 global showpiece to be held in the Caribbean and United States.

    Kyle Mayers is one of those discarded players. The Barbadian scored no T20I fifties in 11 innings since touring South Africa in 2023 and was dropped thereafter, but made 243 runs in six innings at the BPL and boasts a T20 strike rate above 150 this year and above 143 from 40 matches last year. With power-hitting among the most talked-about attributes of top-order batters, this is his chance to show he still has it.

    Kyle Mayers showed some semblance of form in the BPL.

    From a bowling perspective, the likes of Obed McCoy, one of the highest wicket takers in T20Is this year, found no space in a squad that has Alzarri and Shamar Joseph, Russell, Holder and Shepherd. He has an opportunity to show what he can do in home conditions.

    “Obviously, it is the last series leading up to the World Cup, so we're looking to implement how we want to play in the World Cup in these three games. So it's really about that and trying to finalize everybody's roles and responsibilities going into the World,” King said in a pre-game press conference at Sabina Park, on Wednesday.

    “I’ve had discussions with the coaches and with the other captain [Rovman Powell] and we have specific roles for each player that we would like them to go out and perform and, as I said, we're looking to start that in this series,” he added.

    Though it will be his first time leading the regional side on home soil, and the first international game at Sabina Park in a while, King said there is no added pressure.

    “Personally, I don't feel any added pressure, I like to be very positive thinking towards these things. It'll be a great memory looking back when you think about it. So, obviously we want to win the games for the fans, but it's just more excitement than pressure,” King declared.

    Obed McCoy one of the highest wicket takers in T20Is this year.

    “We've been preparing even before this series; we're coming from a training camp as well, so we've gotten a lot of volume in terms of training, so this is just to get some match practice leading up to the World Cup. The guys that are missing are also very experienced players, we've been playing series for the past two years, so their roles I don't think would have changed much and they will fit in when they come,” he shared.

    While West Indies came away 2-1 winners in the last three-match series between the two in South Africa, King is by no means expecting their opponents to be even more formidable on this occasion, as they too have much to prove.

    “They're a very good team. If you look at the players that they have on paper, it is a really solid eleven that they have, so, we have to be at the top of your game. It's not a team where you can relax or anything because they also play an aggressive brand of cricket, a very positive, confident brand of cricket.

    “So, I would say we're looking to exploit our home advantage in this series. The, last time we played in their conditions and we end up winning and so it would be even more positive playing at home,” King noted.

    That said, King pointed out that members of the team, like the many fans around the Caribbean and around the world, are eager to see what uncapped West Indies pacer Shamar Joseph has to offer in the game’s shortest version.

    The 24-year-old Guyanese rose to prominence after his heroics during the Test series against Australia earlier this year.

    “We're also very excited to see what he has. You'll definitely see him in this series at some point, but we're all excited to see what he has to offer,” King ended.

  • Anderson admits speculation over England future was 'draining' ahead of retirement Anderson admits speculation over England future was 'draining' ahead of retirement

    James Anderson acknowledged repeated questioning over his Test future became "draining", as the England great prepares for his final international red-ball outing in July.

    England's all-time leading wicket-taker Anderson announced earlier this month that he will end his storied red-ball career after the first Test against West Indies on July 10.

    The 41-year-old will require nine wickets in his final Test to surpass Shane Warne's 708 wickets and move second on the all-time dismissals list.

    Anderson will be greeted with a rapturous farewell at Lord's, though the Lancashire veteran says speculation over his retirement while still playing was somewhat straining.

    He said on the BBC's Tailenders podcast: "There's probably been two or three moments on the field, if the opposition are 500-3, I'll be thinking, 'do I really want to still be doing this?'

    "They are fleeting thoughts – nothing that has stuck with me or more than an over.

    "I don't know how much of that was me and how much it was the external noise that comes with ageing. For the last six years, or even longer, it's been, 'how long can you go on for?'

    "That in itself, certainly for the last couple of years, has been quite draining."

    Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum will be tasked with rebuilding an England bowling attack capable of overturning Australia away in the next Ashes series.

    That plan for the future seemed to force Anderson's hand into announcing his retirement decision, with speculation building the day before his eventual confirmation followed.

    Though content with his decision, Anderson admitted there is still a small part of him wishing to continue.

    "Some days I wake up and wish I was not retiring but then 90 per cent of the time, I'm happy with it," he added.

    "Not many people in sport get the chance to retire from sport at over 40. I'm happy I've made it this far."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.