What were the England Rugby Union thinking when they decided to make their replacement shirts at the upcoming World Cup Black? The backlash from all quarters of the game has been has surely been greater than anything that they could have expected.
It is common knowledge that only one side is know as the All Blacks, and they are New Zealand, possibly one of the greatest exponents of the game. Therefore to choose a shirt the same is not a compliment but an incredible insult.
England plan to wear the new shirts against Wales at Twickenham on 6 August and then on 10 September against Argentina at the World Cup, which is in New Zealand.
If this was meant to rile the Kiwis it has succeeded and England could well pay a very heavy price on the park, as they have surely alienated any neutral fan before they arrive in the land of the long white cloud. As for the All Blacks themselves they will be even keener to show them what it means to wear an All Black strip.
Meanwhile Nike who came up with the replacement kit must be laughing at all the publicity they are gaining at the expense of the All Blacks sponsors Adidas!