Former England International Wants Them To “Confront” The Haka This Weekend
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Austin Healey reckons England need to confront the All Blacks’ Haka this weekend ahead of their crucial Test match at Twickenham.
England and New Zealand will go head-to-head for the first time in four years on Saturday, with the All Blacks down as massive favourites for the mouth-watering affair.
Healey says the Haka has always been a “massive advantage” for the All Blacks, and to combat it England must act, be it “walking towards the All Blacks, or ignoring it, however they want to”.
“England have to confront New Zealand before the first whistle on Saturday by responding to the haka.” Healey said in his Telegraph column.
“Be it walking towards the All Blacks, or ignoring it, however they want to. Unless you respond to it, I have always felt that the haka is a massive advantage for New Zealand.”
Healey says “fronting up” the haka is not a sign of disrespect. He says it’s about meeting the challenge, and that England should want to “offend them slightly” in an attempt to put them off their game.
“Fronting up to the haka is not a sign of disrespect; it is about meeting the challenge. And if New Zealand are offended, so what? Today it almost seems illegal to cause offence, but you want to offend the All Blacks.” Healey added
“Not to be disrespectful, because that is something completely different and unacceptable in sport. But you do want to offend them slightly in case it puts them off their game. It can be the same in defence with a big collision”
You can read Healey’s column in full here.