DURBAN (Reuters) – England coach Eddie Jones continued his war of words with Bath owner Bruce Craig, whom he said “sounds like Donald Trump”, as he landed in South Africa on Sunday at the start of a three-test series against the Springboks.
The pair have been trading barbs since Craig criticised Jones’ training methods, following injuries to five Bath players on international duty. “Bruce Craig sounds like the Donald Trump of rugby. He has the same hairstyle,” Jones said in his first press conference after arriving in the holiday resort of Umhlanga, to the north of Durban, where England have set up camp
“Everything we do is about training to get better, it’s not about satisfying some bloke who has got plenty of money in Bath and thinks he knows everything about rugby.
“Really, I wish I knew that much. If I knew that much I’d probably have as much money as him. Unfortunately I don’t so I’ll just stick to rugby. I find it all a bit tedious.”
The number of casualties sustained during England training camps under Jones rose to 15 when Worcester centre Ben Te’o became the latest victim, with thigh surgery sidelining him from the South Africa trip.
Beno Obano was the latest Bath player to suffer a serious injury in England training since Jones took charge. Obano suffered multiple ligament and hamstring tendon damage last month and will be out for a year.
The club has also lost Tom Ellis, Dave Attwood, Sam Underhill and Anthony Watson. Wasps loose forward Sam Jones had to retire after he hurt himself doing judo at an England camp.
England’s first test against the Boks is on Saturday at Ellis Park.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town, editing by Neil Robinson)