Alan Jones' personal attack sparks backlash
AUSTRALIAN rugby identity Alan Jones has come under fire for a stunning, unprovoked attack on a female journalist.
The former Wallabies coach took the extraordinary step of singling out rugby.com.au reporter Beth Newman in a seething column for The Australian, where he spat fire at the Australian Rugby Union and its chief executive, Raelene Castle.
Jones's personal attack on the ARU website reporter has attracted an angry backlash from rugby commentators.
The 75-year-old 2GB radio host labelled Newman a "hack" and said she was unqualified to be commenting on the Wallabies, after reading her reports in the official program for the Wallabies' Test with the All Blacks at Eden Park last Saturday night.
Jones's bizarre comments about Newman came after he also hit Castle with accusations that the Kiwi administrator "knows nothing about the game".
The shock jock appeared to link his view - that Castle's administration didn't understand the real issues Australian rugby was facing - with the copy Newman produced for the official match-day magazine.
Other commentators believe Jones's attack on Newman was motivated by other factors.
Jones wrote in his regular column for The Australian that Newman was a "paid mouthpiece" of the ARU.
"I picked up the rugby program for the Test match last Saturday in New Zealand," Jones wrote.
"The world of rugby was present at the game. They would read the program. And some hack, Beth Newman, is writing on Australian rugby. You guessed it - she's a paid mouthpiece for (the) Australian Rugby (Union).
"How the hell would her utterly irrelevant musings represent an appropriate evaluation to the world of the state of the Wallabies? And what on earth must the rest of the world think about us when such drivel passes for authoritative comment."