Eddie Jones insists he was NOT criticising Emma Raducanu with ‘distraction’ comment


Eddie Jones insists he was NOT criticising Emma Raducanu after suggesting she was ‘distracted’ by lucrative off-court endorsement deals in the wake of her US Open triumph – as England rugby coach reveals he has since written her a LETTER

  • Eddie Jones hit the headlines this week with comments about Emma Raducanu
  • He suggested she was ‘distracted’ in the wake of her shock US Open triumph
  • Critics called the England rugby coach ‘sexist’ and ‘uninformed’ in the aftermath
  • He insists he was not criticising the 18-year-old British tennis sensation 

England rugby coach Eddie Jones has backtracked on comments made about British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu and insists he didn’t mean them as a criticism.

Jones hit the headlines earlier this week when he said that the 18-year-old’s recent poor run of form was due to ‘distractions’ off the court following her shock US Open triumph.

He also suggested she had underperformed in the wake of her Grand Slam success, but his comments were slated by fans who called him ‘sexist’ and ‘uninformed’. 

Jones has since written a letter to Raducanu, and responded to his critics in an interview with the BBC, noting: ‘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.’

Eddie Jones said that ‘distractions’ are behind Raducanu not doing so well since the US Open

Raducanu, 18, stunned the world of tennis with her US Open triumph in September

Raducanu, 18, stunned the world of tennis with her US Open triumph in September

Social media was quick to denounce Jones's remarks as 'nonsense' and a 'cheap shot'

Social media was quick to denounce Jones’s remarks as ‘nonsense’ and a ‘cheap shot’ 

Speaking last Sunday, Jones had said of Raducanu: ‘The big thing for good young players is distractions, the distractions could be the exposure they get in the media, the praise they get, the criticism they get. 

‘There can be groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing. There’s a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards. 

‘What have you seen her on – the front page of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar or whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes. All that is a distraction around her.’

Since winning in New York the 18-year-old has signed deals with Dior and Tiffany & Co jewellers, as well as appearing in Sports Direct’s Christmas advert alongside Manchester City’s midfielder Jack Grealish. In the aftermath of her US Open win, she made a high-profile appearance at the Met Gala.

She has played four competitive tennis matches since her Grand Slam victory, winning two and losing two.

Raducanu (pictured above at the Met Gala), meanwhile, rejected claims by Jones that her off-court decisions have hindered her form in the aftermath of her stunning US Open victory

Raducanu (pictured above at the Met Gala), meanwhile, rejected claims by Jones that her off-court decisions have hindered her form in the aftermath of her stunning US Open victory

Raducanu has signed plenty of endorsement deals since winning the US Open earlier this year

She is one of the stars of Sports Direct's Christmas advert (pictured), alongside the likes of Jack Grealish

Raducanu is one of the stars of Sports Direct’s Christmas advert, alongside Jack Grealish

‘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,’ Jones added on Thursday.

‘It was deemed as being sexist and that was never the aim of the point.’

Raducanu, meanwhile, has also hit back, and insisted that she is ‘zoned in’ despite comments about her life away from tennis.

‘I think that many people are going to have opinions of me and what I’m doing,’ Raducanu said, according to The Mirror.

‘I just know I’m staying focused with a small circle around me. I have my parents, who would 100 per cent let me know if I was getting swayed. I am very zoned in.’

In recent weeks, Raducanu has lost matches against opponents ranked lower than herself

In recent weeks, Raducanu has lost matches against opponents ranked lower than herself

Raducanu (second left) split from former coach Andrew Richardson (second right) this year

Raducanu (second left) split from former coach Andrew Richardson (second right) this year

Raducanu lost against China's Wang Xinyu in the Upper Austria Ladies tournament this week

Raducanu lost against China’s Wang Xinyu in the Upper Austria Ladies tournament this week



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