Former Japan coach Eddie Jones ripped into the Sunwolves franchise on Friday night saying he wouldn’t be the England coach if they had got their act together off the field.
Speaking at a writers’ briefing at England’s home stadium Twickenham, hours before the Sunwolves fell to the second heaviest defeat in Super Rugby history (a 92-17 drubbing by the Cheetahs), Jones said the management of the Japanese franchise should be held accountable.
“The only reason I’m here now is because they stuffed up how to set (the side) up, because they didn’t put professional people in place, and that’s why they’ve got such a poor squad,” Jones said.
The Australian was originally named director of rugby of the new Super Rugby side. But he resigned in August last year and announced he would be taking on the role of head coach of the Stormers after the Rugby World Cup.
However, that job lasted just two weeks after he was headhunted by England in the wake of their poor performance at the World Cup.
Despite the Sunwolves putting themselves in a position to win three of their opening six games, Jones has not been impressed.
“They are terrible. The whole purpose of having a Super Rugby team in Japan is to help promote the national team. So you’ve got guys now that have been pulled out of (New Zealand) playing on the wing. It’s got no relevance to the Japan national team there.”
“They’ve lost six games and everyone’s happy they’re fighting hard. But there’s no joy in losing games. It’s just gone back to the old Japan rugby, fight hard and we’re proud of you, which is not good enough.”
When asked what should be done, Jones once again pointed the finger at the front office.
“Well firstly they need a professional management. I reckon it’s embarrassing for Japanese rugby.”
Originally published on Kyodo News.