Eddie Jones has clarified comments he made about Emma Raducanu last week in which he appeared to criticise the British tennis star’s lifestyle. Raducanu has been in inconsistent form since sensationally winning at the US Open and the England rugby coach appeared to correlate that with her vast media appearances.
Jones used Raducanu as an example of why he does not want young fly-half Marcus Smith to get caught up in the attention surrounding him.
“The big thing for young players is distractions. Distractions can be the exposure they get in the media, the praise and criticism they get, groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing,” the 61-year-old said.
“There’s a reason why the girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards. What have you seen her on? The front page of Vogue, the front page of Harper’s Bazaar, whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes.
“He is grounded, but they all start off grounded. No one starts with their feet off the ground or they don’t get in the team, or they don’t win a US Open. But there’s this flood of distractions that comes in that makes you ungrounded.”
The Vogue front page Jones referenced was published before her triumph in New York. He was roundly criticised for his comments, not least for appearing to not know Raducanu’s name.
And Jones has since clarified his comments and has revealed he sent the 18-year-old starlet a letter.
“The whole point was how difficult it is for young players to cope with distractions,” Jones, 61, told BBC Sport.
“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.”
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