Emma Raducanu will reportedly reject an invitation from the Rugby Football Union to watch Eddie Jones’ England team play at Twickenham. The England coach revealed on Thursday that he sent the British tennis star a letter after provoking a furious backlash for criticising 18-year-old Raducanu.
Jones claimed Raducanu’s perceived dip in form was the result of her becoming distracted by fame following her remarkable US Open triumph earlier this year.
Raducanu lost at Indian Wells in her next match before being knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the Transylvania Open.
Earlier this week, the Brit suffered more disappointment as she crashed out of the Linz Open at the first hurdle, losing to Wang Xiyu.
The England rugby boss received a lot of criticism for questioning Raducanu’s dedication to her sport, including from Andy Murray’s mother Judy, and attempted to clarify his comments on Thursday.
He revealed he had sent a letter to the Brit to explain what he meant while Raducanu has also received an open invitation to Twickenham from the RFU.
However, the Guardian claim she will not be attending Saturday’s match against Australia or the one against South Africa a week later.
Jones, who claimed Raducanu had fallen into the trap of fame, insisted his comments were taken out of context as he addressed his comments.
Despite making a gesture in an attempt to clear the air, Jones refused to apologise for what he said.
Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, he said: “The whole point was how difficult it is for young players to cope with distractions. So the point I made was not wrong. I can’t control if it’s taken out of context.
“There was no criticism of Emma. I have sent her a letter just to reinforce that and hopefully we’ll see her at Twickenham shortly.
“I don’t have any misgivings about what I said – I am disappointed it was taken out of context, and I would be disappointed if Emma was upset by it. It was deemed as being sexist and that was never the aim of the point.”
Raducanu appeared to respond to Jones’ comment by underlining her commitment to tennis by insisting she has not missed a single training session since winning the US Open.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed an incredible year despite her season drawing to a close with a disappointing defeat against Wang Xinyu at the Linz Open.
She started 2021 ranked 338 and ends it as the World No 20, having reached the fourth round at Wimbledon before incredibly going all the way at Flushing Meadows.
Raducanu announced on Monday that Torben Beltz will be her new coach having parted ways with Andrew Richardson after the US Open.
She said: “You guys cracked it. It’s obviously a great privilege to be working with such an experienced coach.
“I’m definitely very excited to work with him throughout the pre-season and into next year so things are looking up and it’s a very, very positive feeling, very excited about all the work that is to come.
“He brings a lot of experience. He’s obviously worked with Kerber who is such a great player and has done extremely well and won three Slams and I think that experience definitely helps with someone as inexperienced as me so he can help guide me through, which I feel really confident about.
“Also he’s a really positive, cheerful guy who brings great energy to the team so I think that’s also important when you’re travelling on the road for quite a long time on the tour.”