March 12, 2020 / 4:06 PM / in a month

Rugby-RFU apologies for Jones' criticism of match officials

March 12 (Reuters) - The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has apologised for England coach Eddie Jones’ criticism of match officials after his team’s 33-30 win over Wales in the Six Nations earlier this month.

Jones was infuriated by a late red card for Manu Tuilagi before Wales scored two tries and 14 unanswered points in the final minutes of the match on March 7.

He described the sending off as “absolute rubbish” and suggested England ended up playing against 16 men at a post-match news conference.

On Thursday, RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney said the England governing body did not condone Jones’ comments.

“We have discussed with... Eddie Jones the nature of the comments he made to the media... and have made it clear that such comments are not in line with the values of the sport or the RFU,” Sweeney said.

“Eddie and the RFU regret any implication that (referee) Ben O’Keeffe was biased in his decision making.

“We have outlined this position to the tournament organisers the Six Nations and World Rugby, who will pass on our apologies to Ben O’Keeffe and the match officials team.”

Sweeney added that all parties considered the matter closed but that further action would be taken if a similar situation occurred in the future. (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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