England could be fined for V-shape response to New Zealand’s haka after players revealed that coach Eddie Jones was behind the tactic
- England responded to New Zealand’s haka with a V-shaped formation
- The team fanned out from captain Owen Farrell and some stepped over halfway
- But World Rugby could fine England for their actions ahead of semi-final
- France were fined £2,500 for walking up to the haka ahead of the 2011 final
- England went on to defeat the All Blacks 19-7 to set up final with South Africa
England will discover on Monday whether they’ll face a fine for their V-shaped response to New Zealand’s haka ahead of Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final.
The England players fanned out from Owen Farrell to symbolically out-flank the All Blacks’ traditional Maori challenge, with several players spilling over into the New Zealand half of the field.
France were fined £2,500 for breaching a ‘cultural ritual protocol’ after they linked arms and marched towards the haka ahead of the 2011 World Cup final.
England responded to New Zealand’s haka on Saturday by standing in a V-formation
World Rugby could fine England for their actions ahead of the semi-final victory
The New Zealand team perform the traditional Maori challenge ahead of the England match
And given this precedent, it is expected that England will be sanctioned in a similar way by World Rugby.
England went on to beat New Zealand 19-7 and will now face South Africa in the final of the tournament on Saturday.
The players revealed afterwards that the v-shape was the idea of their coach Eddie Jones, with Mako Vunipola admitting afterwards that ‘we knew it would rile them up.’
Captain Farrell was pictured smirking while the dance was performed, with New Zealand scrum-half Aaron Smith saying afterwards that Farrell winked at him.
Owen Farrell was caught on camera smirking at the New Zealand haka ahead of the semi-final
Several England players spilled over into the New Zealand half and were told to step back
France were fined £2,500 for forming a V-shape and advancing on the haka in the 2011 final
The France team linked arms and walked up to within metres of the New Zealand team
Protocol states that players must not cross the halfway line while the haka is being performed but six players – Joe Marler, Billy Vunipola, Mark Wilson, Elliot Daly, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Ben Youngs – appeared to stand in the All Blacks half.
Match officials, including referee Nigel Owens, tried in vain to encourage them back into their own half and this will also be taken into account by World Rugby in their deliberations.
‘[Joe Marler] said he got confused,’ Mako Vunipola said. ‘He thought he was supposed to go all the way around it and go to their 10.
‘But because of that, he’s the one who has to pay the fine. He dishes it out a lot so the boys would be more than happy if he has to pay it.’