Six Nations

Woodward wants Jones to end media silence

Clive Woodward believes Eddie Jones is wrong to withdraw himself from the media spotlight in the build-up to England's crunch Six Nations meeting with Wales.

Jones was criticised in some quarters in the lead-up to England's victory over Ireland at the weekend, following his comments surrounding Jonathan Sexton.

The England coach suggested Sexton's parents may be concerned about the fly-half's concussion problems, comments which prompted much debate among rugby circles.

In response, Jones said he would not speak to the media apart from at official news conferences.

But, with England set to host Wales on March 12 aiming for the win that would keep their grand-slam hopes alive and simultaneously end the title ambitions of their opponents, Woodward believes Jones has got his approach all wrong.

"A fairly middling Six Nations to date has been much enlivened by Jones' pithy comments and shrewd observations and fans generally are very interested to know his views on Wales and Warren Gatland," the 2003 World Cup winning coach wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

"Come on, this is the Six Nations. If we can't get excited and talk rugby together now - well, when?

"This is one of the biggest sporting stories of the winter and for England not to have their main man, and one of the most entertaining characters in rugby, spearheading all that is a nonsense.

"As ever when you try to make a stand, it can backfire. This morning all the talk and column inches should be about a flawed but really promising England performance, the return of true English grit and a hungry looking team who now face the exciting prospect of tackling the Welsh, who remain slight favourites. But not by much.

"Instead Eddie morphing into a Trappist monk will be kicked around for a few days more and will spring up again when Warren or Shaun Edwards start lobbing a few well-chosen words in England's direction, safe in the knowledge that there will be no comeback. They could have a field day here if they want."