Jones slams ELVs after Saracens loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jones slams ELVs after Saracens loss

by Julian Guyer 04/01/2009 10:37:55 AM Comments (0)

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has hit out at the new experimental law variations (ELVs) after his Saracens team lost to Gloucester in the English Premiership.

Jones was also furious at being forced to do without England captain Steve Borthwick during his team's 22-16 defeat on Saturday.

Jones was angry at having to leave out second-row Borthwick after England manager Martin Johnson ordered all his internationals be rested from this round of Premiership matches.

"I think it is ridiculous that you don't have your best English players playing in the Premiership," said Jones, coach of the Australia side that lost the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney to an England team captained by Johnson.

"It's almost a contradiction. You should have your best players playing.

"His (Borthwick's) presence in the line-out would have made a difference."

Turning to the ELVs, Jones added: "There is something wrong with the rules. The game is very difficult to referee.

"It is too difficult to referee and there is so much contest at the breakdown that other things are being missed.

"The best side won today but there was no rugby played and everyone wants to see rugby," said Jones after a defeat which left Saracens seventh in the 12-team table.

"We have to have officials out there who want to referee but the IRB (International Rugby Board) have made the laws so difficult for referees to referee and the game is immeasurably worse than it was 12 months ago.

"The referees have not got worse and neither have the players. So what's the one missing? The ELVs (experimental law variations).

"They (the ELVs) have stuffed the game up and it is very hard to play rugby," said Jones, who branded the current set-up as "Rafferty's Rules".

London Irish thrashed strugglers Newcastle 48-8 to regain top spot from Bath, who play Leicester on Sunday.

The Exiles scored seven tries including one from former NSW Waratah Peter Hewat.

Newcastle were left in 11th place with only basement club Bristol, whom they play next, keeping them out of the lone relegation place.

Bristol were beaten 30-8 away to Northampton and the west country club's coach Richard Hill said his side faced a difficult 2009.

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