Eddie Jones’ remarks about Emma Raducanu branded ‘sexist’

The former British No1 Jo Durie has described Eddie Jones’s criticisms of Emma Raducanu this weekend as sexist, adding that “No-one ever complains about blokes going to galas; it’s always something that is thrown at women.”

Jones took an unexpected tack when discussing the exciting Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith on Saturday. Speaking at the post-match press conference after England’s 69-3 demolition of Tonga, Jones suggested that Smith needed to be kept away from off-field distractions and drew an unfavourable comparison with Raducanu.

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

But Durie countered by telling Telegraph Sport this morning that these were “sexist comments” and taking issue with Jones’s phrase “young girl”.

As Durie pointed out, “Emma isn’t a girl; she is an 18-year-old woman. Unfortunately, when you’re this famous, everybody likes to have their opinion about you.

“I don’t know her well myself but she seems to have a good head on her shoulders and she just needs to play for at least a season and get used to life on the tour before anyone expects anything else from her.”

Durie’s comments came on the same day that Raducanu moved into the world’s top 20 for the first time. She is only the fifth British woman to achieve this milestone in the Open era. The other four – who include not only Durie herself but Virginia Wade, Sue Barker and Johanna Konta – all went on to reach the top five.

Raducanu – who has won two of her four matches since lifting the US Open trophy on Sept 11 – is due to face either Kateryna Kozlova or Xinyu Wang on Tuesday in Linz, Austria. She is the top seed for this relatively small WTA250 event, her last of the 2021 season, and has travelled with a small entourage consisting of her mother Renee and agent Chris Helliar.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Raducanu said that she has decided on a coach for January’s Australian Open, although she did not reveal the identity of her chosen candidate and later said that “It [the deal] is not yet fully done.”

As Durie put it this morning, “The only thing I would like to see is for Emma to sort out her coaching situation. At the moment, everything she is doing is a new experience for her, because she has barely played any tournaments. So it would be helpful to have someone alongside her who knows the tour.”

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