Eddie Jones writes to Emma Raducanu explaining ‘distraction’ comment was NOT criticism

Eddie Jones reveals he has written a LETTER to Emma Raducanu after suggesting she was ‘distracted’ by lucrative off-court endorsement deals following her US Open win – but England rugby coach insists he was NOT criticising British tennis sensation

  • Eddie Jones hit the headlines this week with comments about Emma Raducanu
  • He suggested she was ‘distracted’ in the wake of her shock US Open triumph
  • Critics called the England rugby coach ‘sexist’ and ‘uninformed’ in the aftermath
  • He insists he was not criticising the 18-year-old British tennis sensation 

Eddie Jones has written to teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu to explain comments he made about her.

The England head coach dismissed accusations that his remarks last weekend had been sexist.

Jones was asked about the potential for Marcus Smith to be undermined by fame, praise and scrutiny and he said: ‘The big thing for good young players is distractions.

Eddie Jones said that ‘distractions’ are behind Raducanu not doing so well since the US Open

Raducanu, 18, stunned the world of tennis with her US Open triumph in September

Raducanu, 18, stunned the world of tennis with her US Open triumph in September

‘There’s a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards. What have you seen her on – the front page of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar or whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes.’

Asked whether the claim was sexist, Jones said: ‘They weren’t made in that spirit at all. We’ve sent a private letter to Emma to make sure she understands why the comments were made. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the end of the matter.’

He added: ‘The point was it is very difficult for young players in the UK. We have got a really good group of young players coming through in England and I want to make sure we look after them.

‘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.’

Social media was quick to denounce Jones's remarks as 'nonsense' and a 'cheap shot'

Social media was quick to denounce Jones’s remarks as ‘nonsense’ and a ‘cheap shot’ 

Since winning in New York the 18-year-old has signed deals with Dior and Tiffany & Co jewellers, as well as appearing in Sports Direct’s Christmas advert alongside Manchester City’s midfielder Jack Grealish. In the aftermath of her US Open win, she made a high-profile appearance at the Met Gala.

She has played four competitive tennis matches since her Grand Slam victory, winning two and losing two.

Raducanu, meanwhile, has also hit back, and insisted that she is ‘zoned in’ despite comments about her life away from tennis.

‘I think that many people are going to have opinions of me and what I’m doing,’ Raducanu said, according to The Mirror.

‘I just know I’m staying focused with a small circle around me. I have my parents, who would 100 per cent let me know if I was getting swayed. I am very zoned in.’

Raducanu (pictured above at the Met Gala), meanwhile, rejected claims by Jones that her off-court decisions have hindered her form in the aftermath of her stunning US Open victory

Raducanu (pictured above at the Met Gala), meanwhile, rejected claims by Jones that her off-court decisions have hindered her form in the aftermath of her stunning US Open victory

Raducanu has signed plenty of endorsement deals since winning the US Open earlier this year

She is one of the stars of Sports Direct's Christmas advert (pictured), alongside the likes of Jack Grealish

Raducanu is one of the stars of Sports Direct’s Christmas advert, alongside Jack Grealish

In recent weeks, Raducanu has lost matches against opponents ranked lower than herself

In recent weeks, Raducanu has lost matches against opponents ranked lower than herself

Raducanu (second left) split from former coach Andrew Richardson (second right) this year

Raducanu (second left) split from former coach Andrew Richardson (second right) this year

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