England boss Eddie Jones has been trolled by a Sky Sports presenter after a tongue-in-cheek comment about rugby league player Jake Connor.
Jones, not averse to the odd cheeky jibe in the media, was appearing on Sky’s coverage of a rugby league match between St Helen’s and Warrington when he was asked which rugby league star could cross to union.
With little hesitation, the England head coach singled out Hull FC full-back Connor.
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“I spent a bit of time up at Hull and I like the full-back there, Connor,” Jones said.
“He’s a tough, skilful player and I’m sure if he got a bit fitter he could make it.”
The latter comment drew an almost incredulous response from Sky’s presenter Brian Carney, the former Ireland and Great Britain winger who himself crossed codes during his playing career.
Carney was a star for Wigan Warriors before joining NRL side Newcastle Knights in 2006. But he switched to rugby union in 2007 and spent two years at Munster, as well as going to the Rugby World Cup with Ireland.
So he is well-placed to assess the physical demands of both sports.
When the footage went back to Carney in the studio, he laughed: “A rugby league player needing to get fitter to play rugby union.
“We’ve had a magician here, now we’ve got a comedian.
“Thanks very much to Eddie Jones for his contributions.”
Pundit Jon Wilkin, who had a 19-year Super League career before retiring in 2020, couldn’t contain his laughter after Carney’s rebuttal.
Jones also highlighted a rugby union player who he believed could make the switch to league, singling out hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, claiming he’d make a “fantastic” prop.
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