Emma Raducanu set to snub England invite as Eddie Jones clarifies comments

Emma Raducanu is reportedly expected to turn down Rugby Football Union’s open invitation to watch England following comments made about her by head coach Eddie Jones.

The England rugby head coach came under fire last week when discussing the rise of fly-half Marcus Smith by referencing Raducanu’s historic US Open triumph.

Jones insists his comments about Raducanu’s ‘distractions’ were not meant as a criticism of the British No.1.

‘The whole point was how difficult it is for young players to cope with distractions,’ Jones told the BBC.

‘So the point I made was not wrong. I can’t control if it’s taken out of context. There was no criticism of Emma.

‘I have sent her a letter just to reinforce that and hopefully we’ll see her at Twickenham shortly.

‘I don’t have any misgivings about what I said – I am disappointed it was taken out of context, and I would be disappointed if Emma was upset by it.

‘It was deemed as being sexist and that was never the aim of the point.’

However, the Guardian claim Raducanu isn’t likely to take up the offer of attending either Saturday’s match against Australia or the one against South Africa a week later.

Jones’ comments suggested there was a ‘reason’ Raducanu ‘hasn’t done so well’ since winning the US Open in September despite at the time only playing two tournaments since.

Raducanu’s rise to fame has seen her popularity grow away from the court as she attended the Met Gala, the James Bond premiere and conducted interviews with top magazines, something Jones referenced when discussing ‘distractions’ of young players.

‘The big thing for good young players is distractions,’ Jones said

‘The distractions could be the exposure they get in the media, the praise they get, the criticism they get. There can be groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.

‘There’s a reason why the young girl (Raducanu) 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. All that is a distraction around her.

‘Marcus [Smith] is grounded, but they all start out grounded. No-one starts with their feet off the ground or they don’t get in the team and they don’t win a US Open.

‘They all start grounded, but there are a flood of distractions which come in, which can make them ungrounded.’

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