Eddie Jones has accused Australia of showing a lack of respect to referee Ben O’Keeffe by declining to meet the official in favour of influencing him through the media.
Jones was responding to claims made by Michael Cheika that England deliberately target the half-backs with late tackles and will attempt to “bully” the Wallabies in Saturday’s Cook Cup clash at Twickenham.
Cheika, Australia’s head coach, has revealed that he will not attend the customary eve-of-match meeting with officials and Jones has questioned his rival’s decision.
“Obviously Australia enjoy the media more than the referee,” Jones said after England’s captain’s run at Twickenham on Friday morning.
“I have coached over 100 Tests and before every Test I have had a meeting with the referee.
“It’s a sign of respect that you want to know what he wants from the game. It’s a mutual exchange of information for the benefit of the game.
“We have played four games against Australia and had good referees in those games. Obviously Cheika feels the referees haven’t done a good job so possibly he should be taking that up with the referee not the media.”
England go into the game with Australia off the back of an unconvincing win against Samoa last weekend, while the Aussies have been victorious in both their last Tests.
Jones sparked some controversy with his squad selection, but in a recent interview, he revealed exactly why he opted for the team he picked.
“I have selected the strongest 23 to play Australia and we will have to be effective in everything we do this weekend to win,” he said.
Time will tell if he did in fact choose the strongest squad available to him.
England take on Australia on Saturday.
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