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England have been reprimanded and fined for their V-shaped formation when facing the haka before their World Cup semi-final victory over New Zealand last Saturday, the Guardian understands.

World Rugby regulations state opponents must not cross the halfway line while the pre-match Maori war dance is being performed and six England players could be seen in breach of the ruling last Saturday. Eddie Jones was behind the idea to combat the haka and his captain, Owen Farrell, stood at the apex of the formation grinning while it was being performed. After the match, Farrell said: “We wanted not to just stand there and let them come at us.” Mako Vunipola added: “We knew it would rile them up”.

Agreed, the Haka is a great dance, but why would there be a special law about where opponents can stand while "it's" being performed? If the Scots wanted to perform the Highland Fling before matches, or the English wanted to do some Morris Dancing, would the same rule apply?

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I think it is more protocol than a rule. The rule is a simple one stating the opposition cannot cross the halfway line at kickoff. The Haka is performed at kick-off.

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Did a bit of searching and it is a protocol, a cultural ritual protocol, introduced after France’s response to New Zealand’s haka in 2007, but nothing to do with kick off. 

World Rugby stated that "England have been fined for a breach of World Cup 2019 rules relating to cultural challenges, which states that no players from the team receiving the challenge may advance beyond the halfway line." 

So doesn't just apply to New Zealand's haka as Tongans and Samoans also do versions and would presumably apply if the English actually fancied doing some Morris Dancing!

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I remember in 2015 England put out a bit of a piss take on the Haka loosely based around the Macarina. Lot of good it did them as they never made it further than the Pool rounds and New Zealand went on to win it.

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Don't care about the V formation, I imagine that if the Haka was performed, inside the English half, the Englanders would run off for a bracing cup of tea, :)

  • Haha 1

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Although Kiwis beat Wales fairly comfortably they seemed a shadow of their former self. Could be a time of Rugby Wilderness for the mighty All Blacks

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