England could be facing a fine for defying New Zealand's haka at World Cup

England v New Zealand - Rugby World Cup 2019: Semi-Final

England may have landed themselves in hot water after responding to New Zealand’s pre-match haka with a V-shaped team formation.

New Zealand’s traditional war dance is usually met with a straight line from the opposition, but given the magnitude of the game, England showed they were ready for the fight and intensified the confrontation.

Referee Nigel Owens was forced into moving three England players who were seen crossing over the halfway line, doing their best to get in the faces of the All Blacks.

During the 2011 World Cup final, a similar situation arose with France, who were fined £2,500 after they broke the World Rugby regulations of encroaching the halfway line during the haka.

According to prop Mako Vunipola, it was head coach Eddie Jones who came up with idea.

He revealed with regards to the response: "We wanted to be respectful, but we wanted to also make sure that they understood that we would be ready for the fight."

Captain Owen Farrell added: “We didn’t just want to stand in a flat line and let them come at us."

Farrell's reaction to the haka itself also went viral during yesterday's game as he simply smirked throughout.

When asked about the incident, New Zealand captain Kieran Read said it had “no impact” on the match; a match which saw the All Blacks humbled by Jones' emphatic England.


It has yet to be confirmed whether England will face punishment, however, they may have created their own tradition to counter a 110-year old ritual that has become so memorable in rugby.

Whatever happens, all we do know is that it's England that are in the Rugby World Cup final and not New Zealand. 

They will face South Africa on Saturday after the Springboks defeated Wales on Sunday in their semi-final.

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