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Forget clown noses, rugby fans in Europe should embrace All Blacks | Robert Kitson

The All Blacks’ tour, starting against the Barbarians, is a cue to put aside the Lions’ off-field treatment and revive rugby’s concept of mutual respect

Right on cue at Halloween season a bunch of big men dressed all in black have materialised in London. Trick or treat? When New Zealand rugby players tour Europe it is usually both, with the opposition cast as the pumpkins. Starting with Saturday’s first game against the Barbarians at Twickenham, a glint of silver fern inevitably generates a frisson.

The difference this time is that, for once, everyone knows the latest touring squad are human rather than invincible supermen. The British and Irish Lions proved as much in June and July, piercing the black aura in a dramatic, drawn series, and Australia also beat New Zealand in Brisbane this month. Should the All Blacks emerge unbeaten from their Tests against France, Scotland and Wales, it is unlikely to have been entirely straightforward.

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Forget clown noses, rugby fans in Europe should embrace All Blacks | Robert Kitson

The All Blacks’ tour, starting against the Barbarians, is a cue to put aside the Lions’ off-field treatment and revive rugby’s concept of mutual respect

Right on cue at Halloween season a bunch of big men dressed all in black have materialised in London. Trick or treat? When New Zealand rugby players tour Europe it is usually both, with the opposition cast as the pumpkins. Starting with Saturday’s first game against the Barbarians at Twickenham, a glint of silver fern inevitably generates a frisson.

The difference this time is that, for once, everyone knows the latest touring squad are human rather than invincible supermen. The British and Irish Lions proved as much in June and July, piercing the black aura in a dramatic, drawn series, and Australia also beat New Zealand in Brisbane this month. Should the All Blacks emerge unbeaten from their Tests against France, Scotland and Wales, it is unlikely to have been entirely straightforward.

Continue reading...

About the Author

Comments are closed.