All Black: Kiwis furious over England’s new kit

2011-07-16 00:00

LONDON — England are ready to anger Rugby World Cup hosts New Zealand by wearing an all-black kit for their opening match against Argentina, according to a report in the Daily Mail yesterday.

Although England usually play in white, their apparel sponsor Nike are due to unveil a new away-kit on August 1 and the Daily Mail reports both the shirt and the shorts of the new strip are jet black with no other colour except for the red rose badge.

It is officially England’s change strip, but the paper claims it will be worn for their three World Cup warm-up matches in August and for their opening pool match against Argentina in Dunedin on September 10, and could also be used later in the tournament.

The decision to copy New Zealand’s iconic All Black jersey, which has a 127-year history, has already triggered a furious response from the Kiwis.

Rugby traditionalists in New Zealand see the cheeky marketing ploy as an insult to the All Blacks’ rich tradition and even the country’s Prime Minister John Key has criticised the decision.

However, the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) have spoken to their New Zealand counterparts, who indicated they have no official objection on the agreement that England would wear white if they play the All Blacks during the tournament.

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