Eddie Jones' closest advisor accuses RFU chief of leaking stories and being 'slippery'

Eddie Jones - Andy Rain /Shutterstock
Eddie Jones - Andy Rain /Shutterstock

Eddie Jones' closest adviser accused Bill Sweeney, the Rugby Football Union chief executive, of leaking stories about the departures of England's backroom staff and described the Twickenham figurehead as "Slippery Bill".

David Pembroke, a former journalist based in Canberra who now advises Jones, posted comments which have now been deleted under articles in The Times accusing Sweeney of leaking information to a Times journalist regarding the departures of the England men's team doctor, Dr Richard Tingay, and the potential departure of the team's training coordinator, Danny Kerry MBE, suggesting in the comments that there was an agenda against Jones from within the governing body.

In the now deleted comment, Pembroke wrote: "There is only one question now and it is a question of governance. The chairman of the RFU must ask the CEO of the RFU did he or persons on his behalf leak the information published in the Times today about the hockey coach and the doctor? Simple. If answer [sic] is yes. "Slippery" Bill is a goner."

Pembroke confirmed to Telegraph Sport that he had made the comments and was a subscriber to The Times, and that he and Sweeney have since spoken with the RFU chief executive denying that the governing body was behind any of the leaks. Pembroke has subsequently apologised to Sweeney for calling him "Slippery", an apology which Sweeney accepted, with the matter now settled and the pair planning to catch up in the future.

Telegraph Sport also understands the RFU has previously asked Pembroke to stop commenting under articles.

Jones, who is currently in France on a pre-planned Rugby World Cup reconnaissance trip, is under increasing pressure to keep his job after England won only five out of 12 Tests in 2022, with an RFU review panel meeting over the next two weeks to assess England's performances.