Jones tells England to follow 'head coach Boris Johnson' in fight against coronavirus

SHOWS:

UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, JAPAN (MARCH 27, 2020) (ENGLAND RUGBY - MUST COURTESY TWITTER /@ENGLANDRUGBY. NO RESALE)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND HEAD COACH, EDDIE JONES, SAYING:

"Hello, Eddie Jones - England head coach. I just wanted to send a message to all the rugby community in England. It's obviously a difficult time at the moment. The rugby clubs are such an important part of life that it's important that the clubs keep maintaining their responsibility in the community. Rugby has always been a game about teamwork and at the moment teamwork is so important for the nation. So, make sure you keep your discipline up, follow the head coach at the moment which is Boris Johnson. So, keep your discipline, keep your social distance, keep working on; for the players keep working on your game. You can still improve your game at this time; you can setup a gym at home, you can do some training in the backyard and can practice your skills, get your parents to help you and to the parents I know it's a hard time for you. I was down in Horsham last week and a father was saying that he had to tell his son rugby training is no longer on. So it's a difficult time but keep positive because we'll get out of this, we'll beat this virus and rugby will commence so keep your spirits up. We're supporting you and keep supporting England. Cheers."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. GRAPHIC ON SCREEN, READING: "ENGLAND RUGBY. WE THANK ALL NHS WORKERS FOR THEIR INCREDIBLE EFFORTS. #CLAPFOROURCARERS"

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JANUARY 22, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

4. EDDIE JONES AND ENGLAND CAPTAIN, OWEN FARRELL AT LAUNCH EVENT FOR 2020 SIX NATIONS

5. VARIOUS OF JONES AND FARRELL AND JONES POSING WITH THE TROPHY

6. VARIOUS OF JONES AND OTHER SIX NATIONS COACHES POSING WITH TROPHY

STORY: England coach Eddie Jones said in a video message on Friday (March 27) that the nation needs to get behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson in order to defeat the coronavirus.

Describing Johnson as the country's "head coach", Jones called for people to keep their social distance and for the rugby community to continuing training at home because the sport will start again once the pandemic is over.

Jones was speaking in Japan the day after it was announced he had accepted a pay cut of more than 25% to help ease the financial burden on the Rugby Football Union (RFU) which is set to lose millions of pounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The RFU faces losses of up to 50 million pounds ($61 million) over the next year-and-a-half due to the outbreak but will still provide a 7 million-pound relief package to community clubs in the country.

Jones led England to the Rugby World Cup final in Japan last year where they lost to South Africa.

Sweeney said on Wednesday (March 25) that the RFU Executive Team would be taking a pay cut in excess of 25%.

The pandemic has brought sport worldwide to a standstill and the RFU and Welsh rugby's governing body, the WRU, confirmed last week the end of the 2019-20 season for all league, cup and county rugby, with the exception of the English Premiership.

England's top-flight competition is suspended until at least April 24, with nine rounds and the playoffs still to be played.

Four Six Nations matches were also postponed due to the coronavirus.

(Production: Tim Hart)

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