Rugby World Cup 2019: England players reveal how they messed up their response to New Zealand’s Haka

The players were meant to assemble themselves in a semi-circle formation rather than a V

Harry Latham-Coyle
Friday 08 November 2019 10:16
England book Rugby World Cup final place after beating New Zealand

England messed up their response to the Haka before the Rugby World Cup semi-final victory over New Zealand, four of Eddie Jones‘ players have revealed.

Ben Youngs, Tom Curry, Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marler will appear on The Jonathan Ross Show on ITV on Saturday night.

And during the course of the interview, they reveal that the V-shape they formed in response to the Maori war dance was actually meant to be a semi-circle.

“We met the night before and we said it’s a challenge and we want to face the challenge and make sure they know we are up for it so let’s get into a semi circle”, Youngs, the architect of the scheme, revealed, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“A few lads were still confused…”

Joe Marler elaborated on the confusion his teammate’s plan caused.

“The issue was, Ben drew it up the night before… He got up and he did it on a flipchart and he marked it all out with Xs and Os.

“The issue I had with it is I look at that board and thought, “It’s not to scale”... I thought we were meant to be closer than what the picture said.

“[I went over the line] which I thought we were all going to do but then I looked back and they weren’t doing it but I thought, I’ve already committed now.”

England drew plaudits from many corners of the rugby world for their response, with some suggesting it gave them a psychological advantage in the opening minutes of the game.

Tuilagi scored a try inside the first two minutes to propel England to an eventual 19-7 victory.

Eddie Jones’ side fell short in the final, losing to an inspired South Africa 32-12.

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