Eddie Jones has responded to Sir Clive Woodward’s criticism of players in the week leading up to the Rugby World Cup Final on Will Greenwood’s podcast.
“Honestly, I sat there and it was like Laurel and Hardy,” Woodward said. “I’m going: ‘I know they’re on the bench but this is 48 hours from the World Cup final’. It was to me poor and that is me being polite. It was really poor.
“South African journalists came up to me after these two had finished larking around after 20 minutes – it wasn’t larking around, it was embarrassing – and said: ‘well if that’s the mood in the England camp we have got half a chance’.
“That said everything to me. I think they got complacent…They got it wrong. I have exchanged curt texts with (England head coach) Eddie (Jones) since because he has heard what I have been saying. They got it wrong.”
The England head coach has today responded when speaking to Greenwood.
“Well he [Woodward] is a World Cup winner, so he’s always got the final say,” Jones told Sky Sports.
“Look, could we have prepared better? Yeah, of course we could have. The end result is we didn’t play well in the final, so we didn’t prepare well.
“I’ve accepted responsibility for that. We did everything we thought we needed to do, but sometimes there’s just something there hiding behind the curtain you don’t find. And if it was that easy, we’d never lose a game of rugby.
“We work as hard as we can to find that, and sometimes we’re not perfect. That was the case for the final.
“Diversity is quite a popular topic at the moment, and I’ve always enjoyed teams that are diverse.
“It’s important to have diversity not only in your squad but also in your coaching team.
“We’ve got guys like Joe Marler who is very much an individual guy. He beats to his own drum, we still haven’t found what drum it is but we’re looking for it.
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“He is such an influential player in our team. Because he loves playing for England, he dedicates himself to being the best prop he can be.
“I’ve never seen a bloke strength train as hard as him consistently in all my time in rugby.
“And then he’s got certain idiosyncrasies. He likes to play the fool in front of people, but he’s a very intelligent guy, great family man, great for the younger guys.”
7 things you didn’t know about Joe Marler
1. Starting out
Marler started his career at Haywards Heath RFC in Sussex where he played in the same side as fellow England international Billy Twelvetrees.
2. Not a one-club man?
After joining the Quins academy in 2008, the prop spent some time on loan to Esher and Worthing