England head coach Eddie Jones says rugby has to do more to embrace diversity after Argentina stood down captain Pablo Matera for racist tweets.
Matera – along with senior players Guido Petti and Santiago Socino – were on Tuesday suspended pending a disciplinary hearing for a series of racist and xenophobic tweets made between 2011 and 2013.
This came three weeks after Matera led Argentina to a historic first Test victory over the All Blacks in Sydney and earned plaudits for his conduct on and off the field.
Matera has taken the tweets down and suspended his Twitter account, but did publish an apology on his Instagram account, saying he was ‘ashamed’.
Speaking on Tuesday ahead of England’s Nations Cup final against France, Jones said rugby needs to do more to embrace diversity.
‘Rugby is a microcosm of society and we all think that society can improve in that area,’ Jones said. ‘You are always looking to see how you can be more engaging of diversity, more tolerant, more compassionate.
‘Like any parts of society, you have pockets of things that aren’t too good,’ he added. ‘We experienced it in South Africa on the last tour and you’ve always got to be on the alert that you have to keep improving in that area.’
Jones was referencing England’s tour of South Africa in 2018, where both himself and a number of his players had been subjected to racist abuse at stadiums.
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