Wyn Jones to ‘have a chat with Uncle Eddie’ after England coach’s complaint

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Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones says he will “have a chat with Uncle Eddie” following Saturday’s NatWest 6 Nations showdown against England.

England head coach Eddie Jones ignited the build-up by questioning the conduct of Wales’ skipper towards referee Pascal Gauzere in Cardiff last Saturday when Wales beat Scotland.

Eddie Jones objected  to the way in which Alun Wyn Jones stood in front of Finn Russell to prevent the Scotland fly-half from converting Peter Horne’s late try while the television match official reviewed the score.

Press Association Sport understands that England Rugby raised an enquiry with World Rugby, but that the governing body is happy there was nothing untoward and that Gauzere and the television match official were already dealing with matters.

Speaking at Wales’ Surrey base on  Friday, Alun Wyn Jones said: “I’ve not seen an exact transcription of Eddie Jones’ comments), so I can’t comment too much on the specifics.

“But it was more important that World Rugby, when they were asked for clarification, came back and essentially said that they saw nothing untoward with what happened.

“More importantly, Pascal at the time, had no issue, or no issue after the game.

“I’m very grateful that Eddie has flagged that up with World Rugby. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and keep within the spirit of the game.

Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones has questioned Alun Wyn Jones’ actions against Scotland (Adam Davy/PA)

“It is the sort of thing that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, so I think I will have to have a chat with Uncle Eddie after the game.

“Ultimately, as players, we are inside the tent and we have got to deal with that happens between the white lines.”

Eddie Jones said that the Wales leader’s behaviour had been out of order, but Alun Wyn Jones took that on the chin – and with some humour.

Asked if he took any offence, Jones said: “No not at all. My parents have been saying that for many years, and I am married now so it is just like being at home.

2018 Natwest 6 Nations Launch – Syon Park Hilton
England and Wales face off at Twickenham on Saturday (John Walton/PA)

“In all seriousness, I am very grateful he flagged it up – if someone is unsure, particularly in professional sport, it is important we get clarity.

“Within the rules, if you take the kick, the score stands.

“I had to ask the questions because there was a game in the autumn where had we reviewed the play against South Africa, a try probably wouldn’t have stood. There is that element of communication. I think it is important if someone wants to seek clarity, they get that.”

Eddie Jones also questioned in comments made on Thursday whether Wales fly-half Rhys Patchell had “the bottle” for Saturday’s clash.

Asked if Jones had done his team-talk for him, Alun Wyn Jones said: “No. Because there are another 13 guys playing on the park, so Rhys and myself aren’t arrogant enough to assume anything said about the two individuals will motivate the 15.

Wales v Scotland – NatWest 6 Nations – Principality Stadium
Eddie Jones also questioned ‘the bottle’ of Wales’ Rhys Patchell (Paul Harding/PA)

“There are obviously going to be questions marks (around Patchell). We’ve lost Dan Biggar and other guys.

“People forget that Rhys Patchell has been round the squad for a good few years.

“He would probably like a few more caps, as would others in among it, but he has experience of being round the camp.

“It is a step up, no-one would deny that, playing away against England at Twickenham. but Patch is ready for that and he is focussed on the job in hand.”

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