England head coach Eddie Jones has suggested Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton has a “bat phone” to referees in the lead-up to the teams’ fixture.

The two nations clash in their opening Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and Jones could not resist stoking the pre-game fire.

“Sexton has the bat phone to the referee. When he talks, the referee listens,” he told BBC Sport as he looks to kick-off with an away victory.

“That is because of his status in the game – you earn that, like Richie McCaw did.”

Jones is currently sweating over the fitness of captain Owen Farrell, who has had surgery on an injured thumb but should return in 10 days.

Should he not recover in time it is expected that George Ford will come into the starting fly-half jersey but the captaincy is up for grabs.

Jones was also questioned on the recent hot topic in football regarding spying and while he admits he used to do similar, he’s now stopped.

“15 years ago we used to send people out in costumes to watch training,” he revealed.

“I can remember sending a coach who is now in a very senior position now in a costume to go and watch one team play and he got chased out of there. He was dressed up like a swagman, wearing one of those hats with corks.

“I can say with a hand on my heart we don’t do it any more. We just don’t see the value of it because we can glean most of the stuff from the games.”

The post ‘Sexton has the bat phone to the referee’ – Eddie Jones appeared first on Planet Rugby.


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