In the aftermath of England’s humbling defeat by a 14-man Barbarians side, World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward slammed Eddie Jones for allowing the match to become a farce.
The Barbarians inflicted a crushing 52-21 defeat upon England at Twickenham on Sunday despite playing more than half the match a man down after Will Skelton was sent off.
EDDIE JONES: It wasn’t a normal England game
Following the match, England coach Jones stressed the “contextual situation” of the contest, given that he was without several first-choice players following Saturday’s Premiership final between Leicester and Saracens, and suffered a setback before kick-off when Alex Dombrandt was ruled out by a knee injury.
The Barbarians lineup comprised mainly French stars and was coached by Fabien Galthie, who guided France to a Six Nations Grand Slam this season.
However, Woodward, who has long been critical of Jones and England’s deflating run of results, once again savaged the Australian in his latest column for the Daily Mail.
“Giving Eddie Jones the keys to Twickenham is holding England back now in so many ways,” wrote Woodward.
“Can you imagine New Zealand or South Africa letting a Barbarians team come to Auckland or Pretoria and take the mickey? But does anybody at the RFU really care – or more importantly, understand the relevance – or was this just another game, another day out, a chance to boost the finances?
“Some of the rhetoric Jones continually comes out with is just plain daft and at this level, it doesn’t help. I saw some of his quotes about the squad for the upcoming tour of Australia and that it was a ‘good mixture of youth and experience’.
“It should be absolutely nothing about that whatsoever. It’s about picking your best starting XV, but we have lost that under Jones. Pick your side based on the best team to represent England, nothing to do with age or experience – it really is not that difficult if you know what your best XV is.
“But no one knows what the best England team is and this seeps into the players’ mindset. England have gone from close to the top of the world in Japan 2019 to, at best, a workmanlike team that few currently respect. Starters, finishers, apprentices – we cannot even name a captain until we get to Australia!”
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