The Rugby Football Union last night reacted sharply to claims by Aaron Mauger, the All Blacks centre, that New Zealand players were racially abused by the Twickenham crowd during their victory over England 12 months ago.
Francis Baron, the chief executive of the RFU, made a formal request for the New Zealand management to investigate Mauger's accusations, saying: "It is puzzling that this has been raised a year after the match. The fans who come to Twickenham are a credit to the ethos of rugby. It is disappointing that they have been unfairly accused like this."
The comments by Mauger followed those of his colleague Anton Oliver, who described the Twickenham crowd as "arrogant and ignorant". The centre said: "I think there were racial remarks made to a few of our boys last year, and the guys took exception to it, which is fair enough because there's no place for that in sport. It seemed to be the island guys [players of Pacific Island descent] who got picked on."Reuse content