England have been reprimanded and fined for their haka facing tactic in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semifinal win over the All Blacks, according to reports.
The Guardian is reporting that England have been fined ‘a four-figure sum’, however it is less than the fine handed down to France for similar tactics ahead of the 2011 final. On that occasion the French were fined $4,300.
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England lined up in front of the traditional challenge in V formation and had to be told to retreat by officials when they moved too close to the All Blacks.
Mako Vunipola admitted that “we knew it would rile them up” while the captain, Owen Farrell, who could be seen smirking during the haka, said: “We wanted not to just stand there and let them come at us.”
England breached a “cultural ritual protocol”.
It is understood that the protocol states opponents must not cross the halfway line. At the two tips of England’s V Joe Marler, Billy Vunipola, Mark Wilson, Elliot Daly, Luke Cowan‑Dickie and Ben Youngs all appeared to be standing in the All Blacks’ half.
Speaking on the matter, Vunipola said it was more a matter of confusion.
“[Joe Marler] said he got confused,” Mako Vunipola said. “He thought he was supposed to go all the way around it and go to their 10. But because of that, he’s the one who has to pay the fine.
“He dishes it out a lot so the boys would be more than happy if he has to pay it.”
It’s not that big a hit for England as their players will share a jackpot of over £1.2 million (NZ$2.4 million) for reaching their first World Cup final since 2007.
It is believed Eddie Jones’ men will receive the biggest single bonus payment for a test match.
It is understood the Rugby Football Union (RF) will pay out £41,298 to each member of Jones’ 31-man squad – a total of £1.28 million.
The RFU pay-out is more than double what New Zealand’s players would have earned.