Zach Mercer has enjoyed an evolution in France with Montpellier in a move he feels may help him regain his England place and repair his relationship with head coach Eddie Jones
The Rugby Paper reported today that Gloucester are favourites to land the talented back-rower when his contract with Montpellier runs out at the end of next season.
“I remember the first phone call I had with him. He actually rang me and goes ‘Mate, Eddie here,’ and I’m like ‘Oh, hi.'” said Mercer on the RugbyPass Offload podcast.
“I wasn’t playing for Bath that long. And he was like: ‘Mate. Do you want to play for England?’ and I’m like ‘yeah.’ And Eddie goes: ‘Well you effing don’t look like you want to play for England. You’re fat, you’re lazy.’ I was like ‘Oh, my god’ and go ‘Yeah,’ and the phone call’s done. That’s it. It’s over.
“I think he respects me a lot more that I took this opportunity and have gone to France because I wanted to develop my game,
“I think he looks at me slightly differently than he did before.”
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Eddie Jones’ five most infamous foul mouthed outbursts
Eddie Jones is notorious for his wicked temper and dressing room outbursts during his time as England boss.
#1. Mike Brown
The former England fullback has placed Eddie Jones’ man-management under scrutiny after claiming he was on the receiving end of a foul-mouthed rant from the head coach when being told he was not going to the 2019 World Cup.
“I said to him, ‘Look, I understand selection is what it is, but don’t put it on that. You haven’t even asked me what happened. With all due respect, I didn’t really do anything. I don’t feel like it was my fault. I hadn’t drunk much, two drinks or whatever. There were people in a worse state than me and I was just trying to mind my own business’.
“So he just switched and turned on me, effing and blinding. It wasn’t nice.
“Just be a man and say what is the reason I’m not getting picked. Don’t try to put it on that, because it’s not that. It’s pretty clear and obvious that it’s not that.
“I asked him to tell me what he thinks happened and he said, ‘My security guards were there, they told me what happened’.
“I said, ‘Let me see what they’ve said has happened’, because he said he had written reports. He wouldn’t give me that.
“He said, ‘Who the F do you think you are?’ because I was going back at him and he doesn’t like that.
“It’s a shame it ended up like that. I wanted clarity on why I wasn’t getting picked, not some made-up excuse.”