Outside the Oval Office of the United States, it might be hard to find anyone more reviled by the country and the world, but leave it to rugby to supply not one, but two who seem to evoke more passionate discord.
England’s Eddie Jones and Australia’s Michael Cheika are those two.
Cheika’s travails are obvious, as the Wallabies have inexorably slipped under his command, to the degree that they now find themselves ranked seventh in the world. Seven might not be so bad were not three of the six ahead not Wales, Scotland and South Africa.
As for New Zealand, Ireland and England, well, they are where they deserve to be.
Not that the world number four ranking seems to be doing much to allay the stones being hurled at Eddie Jones.
His main transgression seems to be that after taking over as England head coach, the side from the Motherland won 22 or the first 23 Tests they played.
Now, the Brits have hit a rough patch and news outlets in England are calling for Jones’ head. The side has lost five straight Tests, which by our figures, means that Jones has won 22 from 28, which should be a bullet point on his resume, rather than a reason to remove him from power.
England’s last win was the third Test with the Springboks and the credit was given to South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus for letting up and blooding some new players.
All the talk would have subsided to some extent had Jones managed to hold on to what appeared to be a victory over New Zealand, a victory that was snatched away because of a video replay that proved nothing.
Jones could have avoided all that had his players not taken holiday during the second half at Twickenham, but the world of rugby widely realizes that there is nothing more dangerous than wounded Kiwis.