In Brief

Video: Eddie Jones apologises for calling Ireland a ‘scummy’ country

The England rugby head coach also said Wales was a ‘little shit place’

England coach Eddie Jones has issued an unreserved apology after footage emerged of him describing Ireland as a “scummy” country. 

The two nations will clash at Twickenham on Saturday, an encounter that is sure to be spicier than ever after the Australian-born coach’s comments.

The derogatory remarks were made last summer when Jones addressed an audience from truck manufacturing company Fuso, the Japanese sister company of the England team sponsor Mitsubishi.

The address was about good leadership, somewhat ironically, with Jones talking about his record as England coach, a position to which he appointed after the 2015 World Cup.

“We’ve played 23 Tests and we’ve only lost one Test to the scummy Irish,” he told the audience, referring to last year’s defeat to Ireland in the final game of the 2017 Six Nations.

“I’m still dirty about that game, but we’ll get that back, don’t worry. We’ve got them next year at home so don’t worry, we’ll get that back.”

Having insulted one Celtic nation, Jones then turned his attention to Wales, asking: “Who knows Wales? Are there any Welsh people here?”

If there were, they probably didn’t appreciate what came next. “So it’s this little shit place that has got three million people. Three million! Japan has got how many? 125 million people,” said Jones.

His remarks sparked uproar yesterday, after a video of the talk began circulating on social media - prompting a swift response from Jones. “I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused,” he said. “No excuses and I shouldn’t have said what I did. I am very sorry.”

Jones’ employer, the Rugby Football Union, also issued an apology, saying they are “very sorry for any offence caused and will apologise to the IRFU and WRU”.

England have named their starting XV to face Ireland as they seek to avoid a third consecutive Six Nations defeat since 2006. Dylan Hartley returns as captain after Jones made a number of changes to his line-up.

George Ford has been dropped with Owen Farrell starting at fly-half and Ben Te’o starting at inside-centre, the BBC reports. 

Richard Wigglesworth, George Kruis and Kyle Sinckler are included but scrum-half Danny Care, lock Joe Launchbury and prop Dan Cole drop to the bench.

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