‘Drown out noise of the Haka and BRING IT ON!’: England coach Richard Cockerill urges Twickenham fans to create a wall of noise to confront New Zealand’s pre match tradition
- Richard Cockerill sends rallying cry to England fans ahead of New Zealand clash
- The England coach tells supporters to drown the noise of the pre match Haka
- Cockerill was part of the England side that confronted the Haha in 1997 match
England coach Richard Cockerill has urged fans to drown out the Haka with a wall of noise at Twickenham.
Cockerill, who infamously confronted the Haka in 1997, wants players and supporters alike to rise to the All Blacks’ challenge.
World Rugby fined England after they formed a V-shape around the Haka at the 2019 World Cup but the team are not preparing to back down.
New Zealand’s Haka is one of the most famous rituals in sport and is done to intimidate rivals
Richard Cockerill wants England fans to drown out the noise of New Zealand’s Haka tradition
‘It’s a home game and we want a partisan crowd who are on our side,’ said forwards coach Cockerill. ‘If they can drown out the noise of them doing the Haka then let’s bring it on.
‘I think it’s become a little bit sterile and people make too much of it when people do different things towards the Haka, in their own way.
‘They’re allowed to do what they want to do and the opposition should be allowed to do what they want to do.
‘Is it a challenge or not a challenge? We’ll respect it how we want to respect it.
Cockerill infamously confronted the Haka in 1997 and wants the current crop to stand up to it
‘It’s a psychological advantage for them and we will deal with it how we feel the right way is to deal with it.
‘I have no regrets over what I did and I think it’s a sign of respect for Maori culture. We’ll deal with it how we see fit. It’s great theatre and it will be part of a big day.’
Prop Kyle Sinckler, who was a part of the team who beat the All Blacks in 2019, added: ‘When I was a kid, you’d see the likes of Keven Mealamu, Ma’a Nonu, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Jerry Collins all those guys leading the Haka.
‘It gets your juices flowing. It’s a massive honour. It’s all good having a V shape, or whatever it is, but you’ve got to back it up with actions. What matters is the business on the field.’