Eddie Jones has once again tossed a barb in the direction of Johnny Sexton as he responded to a question about Owen Farrell ahead of England's weekend Test against New Zealand. Farrell should play this weekend, although he is nursing a sore hip following a late hit from South Africa's André Esterhuizen last weekend.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Jones shifted the emphasis to Sexton when talking about his own player.
If he was Johnny Sexton, then we'd be able to complain about him, but because he's Owen Farrell he's allowed to be hit late.
He gets up and he plays on. He'll be like that this week.
Jones ended 2016 by admitting that he would apologise to Sexton over comments he made about the Leinster out-half's supposed concussion problems ahead of the Six Nations clash at Twickenham. "Sexton is an interesting one, they've talked about him having whiplash injury which is not a great thing to talk about. I'm sure his mother and father would be worried about that. Hopefully, the lad's all right on Saturday to play", were Jones' words at the time.
Nine months later, Jones said that he would apologise to Sexton "when the time was right", and admitted that he had overstepped a mark with his comments. "At the right time I will,” he said. “I haven’t yet but at the right time I will. Because he is a brilliant player. I love him as a player".
Elsewhere, Jones dismissed the challenge of the haka pre-game.
At that stage of the game, they could be playing the Spice Girls and I wouldn't know what's being played. They're making a comeback aren't they, the Spice Girls? Maybe they could sing at that time. It's got no relevance to me at all.
England face the All Blacks at 3pm on Saturday.