Eddie Jones has admitted he used to spy on opponents prior to landing his current role as England head coach, the Mirror report.
‘Spygate’ has been the topic all around the sporting world over the past 10 days following Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa admitting to sending an official to opposition training sessions.
Jones and England are set to head to Portugal this week for a warm-weather training camp ahead of the Six Nations which begins in February.
The 58-year-old, who has been in charge of England since 2015, named his 35-man squad for the tournament on Thursday, with Danny Cipriani, Danny Care and Dylan Hartley all missing out on selection.
However, when asked about the situation with Bielsa and Leeds, Jones backed the Argentine and recalled a situation where he sent a coach to observe an opponents session.
That Leeds bloke was just telling everyone what everyone does. Like everyone does that.
I can guarantee (Wales coach) Warren Gatland sends someone when we have an open session here.
I have been coaching for 20 years and it has always been going on. Fifteen years ago we used to send people out in costumes to watch training.
I can remember sending a coach, who is in a very senior position now, in a costume to go and watch one team play.
He was dressed up like a swagman, one of those hats with corks – and he got chased out of there.
Jones then admitted he hasn’t sent anyone to spy on an opponent in charge of England, revealing it used to be a regular occurrence 15 years ago.
Seriously, I can say with a hand on my heart, we don’t do it (spying) any more. We just don’t see the value of it because we can glean most of the stuff from the games now.
But back in the early 2000s, it used to be part of the pre-match brief.
England are set to begin their Six Nations campaign away to Ireland on February 2, before finishing the tournament against Scotland at Twickenham on March 16.