Sports

Fan given life ban as Jones confronts hecklers

Rugby Australia have released a statement on poor fan conduct at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday following the Wallabies 21-17 series loss to England.

In several videos shared on social media on Sunday, one man was seen scaling the SCG stands to sit and urinate on the roof before he was escorted and arrested by police, while another clip showed the moment a disgruntled Wallabies fan confronted Eddie Jones and labelled the coach a “traitor.”

In a statement, RA labelled the actions as “deplorable” and revealed the man who scaled the grandstand had been issued with a life ban from all Rugby Australia events, while they condemned fans who were heard making offensive remarks towards England staff.

“Rugby Australia is disappointed with the reported incidents within the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the Third Test of the Wallabies’ series with England,” RA boss Andy Marinos said.

“The deplorable actions of the alleged intruder that made his way to the roof of the grandstand were disgraceful and dangerous.

“This individual has been issued with a life ban from Rugby Australia events – and we will continue to support the authorities in their handling of the matter.

“The offensive remarks made by spectators in the Members’ areas towards England staff were unacceptable – and not representative of the values of Rugby.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behaviour, and we are working with Venues NSW on appropriate sanctions for these individuals.

“Rugby prides itself on values of respect and integrity – as seen in the players of both teams after the final whistle of a hard-fought series at the SCG on Saturday night.

“It is our expectation that spectators adhere to these values of respect and integrity when attending Rugby matches – and, we would hope, in society in general.

“Please, cheer for your team with all that you have – but please, always show respect for others.”

In one video posted to social media early Sunday, Jones can be seen walking along the fence-line of the SCG pitch following the match, before he is confronted by a disgruntled Wallabies fan who hurled abuse at the former Australia coach.

Jones was visibly agitated by the remark, and security were forced to step in and separate the pair.

In the video the man can be heard saying “you’re a traitor” as Jones walked by with a second man telling him to “spray him, spray him” before the coach came towards the pair.

“What did you say? What did you say?” Jones yelled. “Come here and say it. Come here and say it. Come here and say it.”

The security guard can also be heard saying he’d already spoken to the man once before earlier in the night.

Jones did not mention the incident during the post-match press conference, but told Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday that he had been heckled by the man at half-time and full-time.

“Clowns think they have full go to abuse coaches,” Jones told the Herald.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan condemned the conduct of the supporters, saying Wallabies fans should be proud of what Jones had accomplished since his departure from Australian rugby.

“That fan’s behaviour is totally unacceptable and is not welcome at a Wallabies Test if he carries on like that,” McLennan said.

“We should be acknowledging Eddie’s achievements as a great Aussie export. There’s too much tall poppy syndrome in that comment.”

Despite the ugly post-match incident, Jones said his England squad had grown as a unit and the players had enjoyed sampling what life in Australia had to offer.

“This was tougher, mate, because we had a more established team in 2016 coming on the back of the Grand Slam and coming on the back of a 2015 team,” Jones said of the difference between his two series triumphs Down Under.

“This team, we’re nurturing this team at the moment, we’ve got a good group of senior players and we’ve got all these young guys coming through, so it was an entirely different experience.

“We weren’t as prepared for the first Test as we needed to be because we didn’t have enough training time on the paddock, which we don’t control. But as the tour went on we got more cohesive, we got more together, understood how we wanted to play; so it was hard work.

“But it was also a great tour for the boys, Australia’s a fantastic place to tour. A few of the players have said, ‘why would any Australian move to England?’, they can sit at Coogee Bay Road, have a coffee, watch life pass you by, it’s a pretty good experience.

“So I think they’ve have a good tour and it’s good to cap it with a result.”

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