Rugby Australia condemns fans’ ‘offensive’ behaviour towards England staff

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The chief executive of Rugby Australia has condemned the “offensive” remarks and behaviour of fans towards England on Saturday night.

England head coach Eddie Jones was involved in an angry confrontation with an Australia fan after being called a “traitor” during the match.

In a statement on Monday, Andy Marinos said the comments made by spectators in the members’ area of Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) towards England staff were “unacceptable” and “not representative of the values of rugby”.

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England’s Jamie George, centre, and teammates celebrate with the Ella-Mobbs cup following the third rugby international Mark Baker/AP)

The chief executive added: “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.”

It comes after footage posted on social media from Saturday’s 21-17 win showed Jones being baited in two separate incidents on the night England completed a series victory.

Australia England Rugby
Rugby Australia condemned the behaviour of fans at the weekend game (Mark Baker/AP)

In one clip a man wearing a Wallabies cap and holding a pint of beer points a finger at Jones as he walks on to the pitch and says twice “you’re a traitor”, provoking a furious reaction.

Jones stalks over to the stand and replies “come here and say it” three times, causing the surprised fan to back off, and is then ushered away by a member of the ground’s security staff.

The security guard can be heard saying to the fan “I have spoken to you before”.

In another incident that takes place as he walks through the members area of the SCG, Jones is called a traitor once again and this time he replies “what did you say you f****** idiot. Go and f*** yourself mate.”

In a separate incident which also occurred during the Third Test of Australia’s series with England, another fan was filmed climbing onto the roof of the grandstand and urinating.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones, left, talks with former Australian rugby player Glen Ella
England coach Eddie Jones, left, talks with former Australian rugby player Glen Ella (Mark Baker/AP)

On Monday, Rugby Australia said the man has been banned for life, called his “deplorable” and “disgraceful”.

“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,” Mr Marinos said.

It is understood that Jones, an Australian who coached the Wallabies from 2001 to 2005, was subjected to hostile abuse when walking to and from the coach’s box with the layout at the SCG meaning he had to pass through sections of the home crowd.

“Clowns think they have full go to abuse coaches,” Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald when asked about the incident.

It comes at the end of a successful tour Down Under in which he masterminded a valuable series victory 14 months out from the next World Cup.

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