England rugby coach told off by his 93-year-old mother

By AP 14 November 2017, 12:00AM

At 57, Eddie Jones still isn't too old to be told off by his mother.

Television cameras caught the England rugby coach slamming down his notebook and blurting out swear words during his team's error-strewn 21-8 win over Argentina on Saturday.

Among the viewers shocked by Jones' outburst in the Twickenham stands was his mother.

"My mother rang up — she's 93 from Australia — and said, 'Please don't swear.' It'll be the last time I swear," said Jones, who apologized for his language on Monday. "I was frustrated we didn't play better. I think everyone was frustrated and sometimes you can't control yourself."

It was an unusually sloppy display by England, which has won 21 of its 22 games under Jones since his appointment as coach after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Various explanations have been put forward for the performance — rustiness, the absence of key players like Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje, slippery conditions, the quality of Argentina — but England will likely have to improve for its next match.

Australia, Jones' native country, visits Twickenham on Saturday and is on a seven-match unbeaten run, including a Bledisloe Cup win over the All Blacks and most recently a victory over Wales on Saturday.

"Australia, (given) the team they are at the moment and the form they're in at the moment, they'll take you apart," England prop Mako Vunipola said.

In what is likely to be one of many barbs fired by both teams this week, Australia coach Michael Cheika said "pundits over here don't think we have much of a chance — they have already given England 3-0 for November."

Certainly, England's display against Argentina has made Saturday's game harder to call.

"It's my fault the team didn't play well so I take full responsibility for that," Jones said. "I just didn't coach them well enough."

Jones has also been impressed with how the Wallabies have rebounded from a 54-34 loss to New Zealand in Sydney in August.

"They've really turned it around through some very good coaching," Jones said. "Their selection has been good, their defense is very good, their set-piece is strong.

"They're playing some good rugby and are probably the form team in the world at the moment."

Jones hasn't ruled out a return for fullback Mike Brown, who left the field in the 22nd minute against Argentina after being tackled by No. 15 Joaquin Tuculet while attempting to catch a high ball and landing face-first on the turf.

Two years ago, Brown was forced to spend an extended spell on the sidelines after being knocked out against Italy.

"There are set protocols on return to play and he's progressing pretty well. I'd think that at this stage he's still in contention," Jones said.

Winger Jonny May has resumed full training after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Jones wouldn't disclose whether there would be recalls for Farrell and Itoje — announced Monday as nominees for World Rugby's 2017 Player of the Year award.

Jones is managing the pair's game time at the end of a busy year for club (Saracens), country and the British and Irish Lions.

By AP 14 November 2017, 12:00AM

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