Eddie Jones says he will pay little attention to the haka when the All Blacks perform it on Saturday and has joked he would not notice if the Spice Girls were singing instead.
The England head coach responded with the disparaging put-down after being asked whether he liked the England fans trying to drown out New Zealand’s traditional pre-game ceremonial dance.
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When the All Blacks take the field at Twickenham on Saturday they will be following compatriots who, exactly 130 years earlier, were also representing their country in England.
“At that stage of the game they could be playing the Spice Girls and I wouldn’t know what’s being played,” he said.
“They’re making a comeback aren’t they, the Spice Girls? Maybe they could sing at that time. It’s got no relevance to me at all.”
As they have on previous New Zealand visits, England fans are likely to meet the The Maori challenge with a loud chorus of ‘swing low, sweet chariot’ at Twickenham on Saturday
Other teams have tried various tactics to combat the haka, including stepping up to confront it or turning away.
The sport’s governing body World Rugby has instructed teams to respect the performance, in which the New Zealand players bulge their eyes and poke out their tongues to unsettle their opponents.
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