England rugby coach Eddie Jones has been forced to apologise for a strange remark about racism at a recent press conference.

Jones was questioned about his meditation practices, having revealed last year that he engages in mindfulness as part of his routine.

However, when asked about it, Jones said: "I don't think I've ever spoken about meditation.

"You must be thinking about someone else ... maybe another half-Asian person ... maybe we all look the same."


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Despite the statement's context as a joke, media gathered at the conference with stunned by the remark.

AAP reports a private apology was later sought by the reporter who asked the question, and Jones obliged.

An English Rugby Football Union spokesman said: "Eddie made an off-the-cuff comment during the press conference which was not intended to cause any offence.

"He has subsequently spoken to the journalist privately explaining this and apologised which was accepted."

The Australian coach, who spent time at the helm of the Wallabies before joining the English set up, has been willing to front for media obligations on a daily basis, breaking the usual process of rotating coaches.

Jones' English side will host Ireland on Monday (NZ time) with their Six Nations title hopes on the line. A loss against France in Paris last week did their chances no favours, and they'll now need to beat Ireland to keep their hopes alive.