England have been branded the ‘most unpopular team’ in the Rugby World Cup by the New Zealand press in the lead up to their semi-final clash.
Eddie Jones’ side face the All Blacks in Yokohama on Saturday in a much-anticipated game, with a place in the final at stake.
The England boss called the Kiwi press ‘fans with keyboards’, but New Zealand rugby writer Chris Rautte has come out in defence of his team.
Rattue said in the Herald, as per Mirror: "Saturday's World Cup semi-final is a showdown between two Goliaths. One of those monsters more than matches up to reputation, while the other is among world sport's biggest duds.
"Affluent England Rugby should be regarded as a laughing stock, not a battling underdog. Its record against New Zealand, in particular, is an absolute joke.
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"England is rugby's most unpopular team. The thought of England winning this showdown becomes even more unbearable with the smart-arse Eddie Jones in charge."
Rattue was referring to England’s record against New Zealand; they’ve only won once in the last 16 Test matches, a victory which came back in 2012.
The New Zealand press even managed to turn England's World Cup win back in 2003 into a negative.
Rattue believes that the victory over Australia should have led them on to better things.
"England's 2003 victory showed what they should be capable of. It was a major stepping stone towards their World Cup triumph in Australia that year.
"It could have been a springboard. What followed is a shambles.
"During that time they've hardly produced one player who gets the pulse racing or might be called a great, although a few forwards in their current side are giving it a very decent crack.”
Rattue finished off by reminding them about the All Blacks’ domination and took one final swipe, this time at the English press.
“Can you imagine the English press reaction if their side had dominated world rugby as the All Blacks have done with such style?"News Now - Sport News