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England head coach Eddie Jones has insisted he did not mean to criticise Emma Raducanu when speaking about the “distractions” that could impact Marcus Smith and has written to the US Open champion to clarify his comments.
The Australian warned Smith must not get caught up by off-field distractions and cited Raducanu as an example of that happening.
Jones has received fierce backlash for his comments, but he insists he was not looking to criticise the teenager and has personally written to her.
Asked if his comments were sexist in any way, Jones said: “It’s not for me to judge that.
“We’ve sent a private letter to Emma to make sure she understands why the comments were made.
“The point was it is very difficult for young players in the UK and I made that point for a reason, because I think it is.
“We have got a really good group of young players coming through in England and I want to make sure we look after them as well as we can.
“The average number of caps for an England player over history is seven. So many good young players come in and get swept away by the distractions. We don’t want them to be distracted and that was the only purpose of that comment.”