Jones happy to ‘pay up’




Reds coach Eddie Jones has been slapped with a AU$10,000 fine, after the controversial mentor pleaded guilty to several breaches of the SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) code of conduct.

This follows his bitter comments on the performance of referee Matt Goddard in last Saturday’s Super 14 match between the Reds and the Brumbies. The Brumbies won 6-3 in a spiteful encounter.

The Reds coach appeared before a disciplinary hearing arrange by SANZAR, the governing body of the Super 14 and Tri-Nations competitions, on Thursday.

SANZAR Judicial Officer Terry Willis heard the citing complaint and the hearing was conducted via a telephone hook-up between SANZAR Headquarters at St Leonards and Brisbane, where Eddie Jones was represented by John Mullins, Solicitor and his Manager Chris White.

In a statement Willis said that after considering Jones’ long service to the game, his plea of guilty, his undertaking to comply with the SANZAR Code of Conduct and his agreement to provide a written apology to Matt Goddard, he was fined AU$10,000.

The value of the fine is to be paid to the charitable organisation, the Spinal Injuries Association of Queensland within 28 days.

Jones made it clear last week, and again during the week, that he is happy to pay a fine.

Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) Chief Executive Officer Ken Freer said on Thursday that there were a number of lessons to be learned from the disciplinary action against Jones.

Freer said the process that led to Thursday’s decision had been drawn out and confused.

“The offence occurred on the weekend and we’ve only now reached a conclusion. Along the way we’ve had speculation in the media about possible bans and nasty asides about ‘making an example’ of Eddie. There has to be a better and clearer process than this,” Freer said.

“And unfortunately, the way this has played out has given the rugby public the clear impression that the authorities are far more concerned with what Eddie said, than with why he might have said it.

“In my discussions with Eddie it was apparent that he has become frustrated with what he believes is a failure to apply the same scrutiny to referee performances as is applied to players and coaches, and felt he owed it to his players to speak out.

“It was interesting to hear Western Force coach John Mitchell support Eddie’s plea for greater accountability and to say he’s yet to receive any feedback on his rating of the referees in matches so far this year.

“That should be cause for concern among the administrators of this tournament.

“That said, we trust that Eddie will exercise more discretion in future and that such a situation will not arise again.”

365 Digital

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