Former England international Ugo Monye was left “so fed up” after being subjected to the “most blatant racism” he has heard from a supporter as he left Sunday’s match between Exeter and Gloucester.

The 40-year-old ex-Harlequins player, now a pundit, said the incident occurred as he was leaving Sandy Park on Sunday afternoon following the Chiefs’ 25-24 Gallagher Premiership victory.

Monye wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that as he was leaving the stadium, one supporter running through crowd repeatedly shouted a racist insult. He added: “Disgraceful. Not a single person said a word, challenged or even reported it.

“He walks off after a mild scuffle and fans are now telling me ‘We’re with you’ B******S you’re with me. You weren’t with me when you saw and heard the most blatant racism I’ve seen from a supporter at a live game. So fed up.”

Exeter swiftly issued a statement vowing to investigate the matter and apologising to Monye.

It read: “In light of recent accusations regarding an incident of racist abuse at Sandy Park following the conclusion of our victory over Gloucester in the Gallagher Premiership, Exeter will be launching a full investigation.

“This behaviour will not be tolerated at our rugby club, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

“Our team will begin to review CCTV footage from the stadium immediately in an attempt to identify the individual in question and we would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Ugo Monye, a member of the rugby community that is highly respected by everyone at our club.

“If anyone has any information regarding this incident we would ask you to get in touch with the Chiefs as soon as you can.”

Premiership Rugby also offered support to Monye and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Its statement read: “Premiership Rugby is aware of the accusations of racist abuse suffered by Ugo Monye at Sandy Park following the Exeter match against Gloucester.

“Premiership Rugby offers our full support to Ugo Monye and we stand united with our clubs and players in the fight against racism. Racism has absolutely no place in our game or society.

“Exeter have launched a full investigation and we urge anyone with any information to come forward.”

England's decision to sack head coach Eddie Jones nine months before the Rugby World Cup is "utter madness", according to former back-row James Haskell.

Jones' fate was confirmed on Tuesday following a review by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) into recent results.

England have endured their worst calendar year since 2008 in terms of results, having won just five of their 12 Tests in 2022, most recently going down 27-13 to South Africa.

Despite a disappointing year, however, Jones bows out with the best win rate (73 per cent) of any head coach in England's history, having won 59 of his 81 Tests at the helm.

Haskell, who played under Jones prior to retiring in 2019, believes the Australian should have remained in the position until his contract expired after next year's World Cup.

"Personally, I think it's utter madness," he told Sky Sports. "You've literally taken the most successful World Cup coach and binned him nine months before a World Cup.

"He's been to three World Cup finals [two as head coach, one as a technical adviser], he's won one [with South Africa as technical adviser, 2007] and lost two."

Jones led England to their first Six Nations Grand Slam in 13 years in 2016, then won the Six Nations tournament again in 2017 and 2020, while also reaching the 2019 World Cup final.

He won his first 17 games with England, which was part of an 18-game win streak overall, the joint longest of any Tier 1 nation.


The 62-year-old will be replaced by forwards coach Richard Cockerill on an interim basis, with Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick the favourite to take over permanently.

"The best thing is, the person [the RFU] want to replace Jones with at this point in time, and obviously it's an ever-movable feast, is not available," Haskell added. 

"So you're going to put someone else in charge for the Six Nations who hasn't been an international coach.

"All because of some grumpy old journalists, and miserable fans, who decided to gang up to get rid of him. It's pretty much the story of the modern world."

Borthwick worked alongside Jones with Japan and England before taking over at Leicester in 2020 and guiding them to the Premiership title last season.

While Haskell questioned the decision to replace Jones, fellow former England player Ugo Monye has backed Borthwick to succeed if he is appointed.

"If he is the man, I think it is a great appointment," Monye told Rugby Union Weekly. "We don't have nine months to experiment, we have nine months to nail our identity.

"He gets it. He understands the personality of the game at the domestic level, what the players want, what the fans want, it feels like a necessity to connect all that together."

Eddie Jones has lost the support of England's fans and may be an example of a world-class coach who has stayed too long in his job, like Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.

That is the verdict of Ugo Monye, the former England back, who says there is little "tangible evidence" of reasons to be optimistic heading towards next year's Rugby World Cup.

England lost to Argentina and South Africa at Twickenham in November, while beating Japan and fighting back for a draw against New Zealand.

They won just two of their Six Nations matches at the start of the year, and the Rugby Football Union, which governs English rugby, is to review the team's performance. Its chief executive, Bill Sweeney, has already said results are "not where we expect them to be".

This has been England's worst calendar year since 2008 in terms of results, having lost six of their 12 Tests in 2022. World Cup-winning boss Clive Woodward, who oversaw the 2003 triumph, has said Jones should be sacked if England lose to Scotland on February 4 in their Six Nations opener.

A decision could yet come sooner, with Jones seven years into a reign that began in November 2015.

Monye told the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly podcast: "If he goes, I think there will be people saying it should have happened sooner because of the time sensitivity pressure. We've got the Six Nations in two months and then a World Cup in nine months.

"At this point where you've had poor results and poor performances, you need a sense of faith backed by more than just a gut feeling – there needs to be an objectivity to it and something tangible behind it.

"It is hard to find that tangible evidence. The only people that seem to be able to see it are the players in camp because they see more than we'll ever see, and that's fair, but they're emotionally connected and tied to all of it."

Monye believes the RFU may yet choose to give Jones a vote of confidence and stick with him.

"They may just say, 'Eddie's our guy, we back him'," Monye said.

"I don't think anyone is saying Eddie Jones is a bad coach, he's got an incredible proven track record.

"But when I look at football… I look at the likes of Jose Mourinho. He's still a great coach, but that relationship ran its course at Chelsea as well as other clubs.

"I look at [former Tottenham boss Mauricio] Pochettino. I look at Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. He did so many incredible things, the Invincibles, but he was just there too long and he had to go.

"There are so many examples where you're talking about world-class, incredibly well experienced coaches that either stay too long or for some reason there's a disconnect between them and the players or them and the fans.

"If Eddie is to stay, the number one thing he has to fix is the relationship with the fans. I think the fans don't see it any more. I don't think they're buying into it at the moment."

Jones has been adamant England are "moving in the right direction", saying after the South Africa game: "Obviously on results we are not happy, but I feel like we are building a really good base to have a really good go at the World Cup."

The Rugby Football Union's (RFU) claim England made progress during a tough Six Nations campaign has been criticised by ex-international Ugo Monye, who called their statement "dishonest".

Eddie Jones' side finished a distant third behind Ireland and Grand Slam winners France, managing just two wins from their five games.

It marked a second successive dismal Six Nations, far removed from reaching the final of the 2019 World Cup that marked the high point of the Australian's tenure in charge.

Now, a year-and-a-half out from the 2023 World Cup in France, the RFU has sought to frame their results as stepping stones, but Monye – a 14-time England international – believes such claims are untruthful.

"I want to know who in the RFU thinks that signifies progress and are happy with how things are," Monye told BBC Sport's Rugby Union Daily podcast.

"Fundamentally it's just dishonest. There isn't progress. With the financial backing, the player pool and the coaching staff they have you cannot be winning two out of five games two years in a row.

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