England World Cup stars tell Jonathan Ross they BUNGLED haka responseNovember 8, 2019
‘It was meant to be a semi-circle, not a V. The lads got confused!’: England’s Rugby World Cup stars tell Jonathan Ross they actually BUNGLED their haka response… and how Prince Harry cheered them up after defeat in the final
- England’s Rugby World Cup stars are appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show
- The players came up with the plan for their haka response night before semi-final
- But they claim they messed up the shape as they crossed the halfway line
- England were beaten by South Africa in the final after defeating the All Blacks
- The Jonathan Ross Show will air on ITV1 at 10.00pm on Saturday November 9
England’s infamous V-shape response to the All Blacks haka at the World Cup semi-final was actually a bungled attempt at forming a semi-circle, it has been revealed.
World Cup finalists Ben Youngs, Tom Curry, Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marler have admitted the confusion during an appearance on ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show, which will be aired on Saturday night.
Their response landed them in hot water after it crossed the halfway line, but went viral across social media and even drew praise from New Zealand boss Steve Hansen.
(Top left to right) Joe Marler, Manu Tuilagi, Tom Curry and Ben Youngs have appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show
The England Rugby World Cup stars were talking about their experience out in Japan
Marler and Co laugh at a picture of him arriving back at Heathrow with a wraparound pillow
But it turns out that they messed up after failing to understand Ben Youngs’ diagram drawn up on a flipchart the night before.
‘We met the night before and we said it’s a challenge and we want to face the challenge and make sure they know we are up for it so let’s get into a semi circle’, he said.
‘A few lads were still confused…’
Marler interjects: ‘The issue was, Ben drew it up the night before… He got up and he did it on a flipchart and he marked it all out with Xs and Os.
‘The issue I had with it is I look at that board and thought, “It’s not to scale”… I thought we were meant to be closer than what the picture said.
England players addressed their infamous response to New Zealand’s haka in the semi-final
They responded by forming a V-shape though it was meant to look like a semi-circle
Curry, Youngs, Tuilagi and Marler recounted what was meant to happen with the response
‘[I went over the line] which I thought we were all going to do but then I looked back and they weren’t doing it but I thought, I’ve already committed now.’
Despite an inspiring and historic 19-7 win over the All Blacks in the semi-final, England could not get over the line in the final against South Africa.
The Springboks roared to a 32-12 victory to claim their third World Cup title.
Marler admits the team were low in the dressing room afterwards, but received a welcome pick me up from their Royal supporter, Prince Harry.
‘He is a brilliant supporter of the team, he has been for a number of years’, he said.
Prince Harry (centre) was in Japan to watch England in the final against South Africa
Marler talks to comedian Tom Allen (left) during his appearance on Saturday’s show
‘He supports us as much as he can, he loves his rugby. He doesn’t seem to like me too much…’
With the players enjoying a couple of beers to drown their sorrows as they felt sorry for themselves, the Duke of Sussex was doing the rounds and offering commiserations before finding the prop.
‘Then he comes over to me’, he continued. ‘I always get a bit nervous around Royals, not that I’ve met too many of them, just him, I still get nervous around them because you don’t know what the rules are. ‘So I try and ignore him, because if you close your eyes it’s not happening.
‘He chose not to ignore me. I said, “Hello, thank you for your support” and he said, “You’ve still not shaved the beard then?”‘
Tuilagi and Marler look relaxed as they recall England’s passage to the final in Japan
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