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Eddie Jones reprimanded by RFU for suggesting ref bias

LONDON (AP) — England rugby coach Eddie Jones was reprimanded by the Rugby Football Union on Thursday for alluding to bias from a referee in his team’s win over Wales in the Six Nations last weekend.

England center Manu Tuilagi was sent off for a no-arms tackle on George North, shortly after prop Ellis Genge was sin-binned. After England’s 33-30 win at Twickenham on Saturday, Jones said New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe’s decision meant it was “13 against 16” players, suggesting the official was on Wales’ side.

"The Rugby Football Union does not condone comments that in any way undermine the integrity of match officials, who are central to the sport and its values,” the governing body said.

"We have discussed with England head coach Eddie Jones the nature of the comments he made to the media in the immediate aftermath of a dramatic finish … and have made it clear that such comments are not in line with the values of the sport or the RFU.”

The RFU said Jones regrets “any implication that Ben O’Keeffe was biased in his decision-making.”

“We have outlined this position to the tournament organizers, the Six Nations, and World Rugby, who will pass on our apologies to Ben O’Keeffe and the match officials team,” it said.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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