Rugby: England fined for encroaching on All Blacks haka

Protocol states opponents should remain in their own half while the All Blacks perform their traditional war dance before games.
Protocol states opponents should remain in their own half while the All Blacks perform their traditional war dance before games.PHOTO: DPA

TOKYO (AFP) - England have been fined for encroaching on New Zealand's haka in a provocative V-shaped formation before last weekend's World Cup semi-final in Yokohama, tournament organisers said Wednesday (Oct 30).

Protocol states opponents should remain in their own half while the All Blacks perform their traditional war dance before games, but several England players strayed across halfway, despite the efforts of officials to usher them back.

World Rugby said the Red Roses contravened tournament rules "relating to cultural challenges".

England won the semi-final 19-7, and will play South Africa in the final on Saturday. England captain Owen Farrell said after that match their reaction to the haka was planned to show the All Blacks that they were "ready and together", although New Zealand captain Kieran Read said the reception had "no impact" on the match.