Gatland hits out at Jones ‘do-or-die’ comment
Warren Gatland has rejected Eddie Jones’s description of knockout matches as “do-or-die”, claiming it offends local sensibilities.
Jones made the comments when announcing his team to face Australia in today’s quarter-final in Oita, stressing the finality of knockout matches.
The England head coach also referenced the ethos of the ancient Japanese warriors, the Samurai, noting that his England squad had the same mentality, all “23 of them up in the hills, with eight more hiding in the caves”, ready to do battle.
But while stressing the significance of a quarter-final, the Wales head coach refused to regard his side’s game against France tomorrow in Oita in the same tone as his England counterpart.
“I wouldn’t be using do-or-die words,” said Gatland. “I think they’re a bit sensitive at the moment, given what’s happened in the last few weeks.
“It’s just another game of rugby, but we know how important it is.”
Military analogies are not unusual in sport, and Jones often invokes them in attempting to express the toughness and resilience of his players.
There is another side to the spectrum, however.
Jones opened the press conference with a moving tribute to those who had lost their lives, and suffered during Typhoon Hagibis the previous weekend.
Jones spoke in Japanese as he said: “I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their family members during the typhoon. The Japan v Scotland game was fantastic. Japanese people have a very strong ‘fighting spirit’.
“We sincerely hope for the earliest possible recovery.”