Anton Oliver labelled the English media and rugby public ignorant and arrogant, adding spice to Sunday’s All Blacks tour opener at Twickenham.
Oliver slammed the English media’s reporting of the All Blacks 23-19 win at Twickenham a year ago and said it was this type of attitude that added to the All Blacks motivation.
“It’s the arrogance and the hubris of the English crowd. It’s just such a cauldron, and there’s such an arrogance about them. Last time we beat them there (23-19 in 2005), when you read the papers the next day it was remarkable they’d actually lost. You’d have thought they’d won the game.
“It’s that kind of blind ignorance and arrogance that really gets up the noses of the Australians and New Zealanders … it’s not the players at all. The players actually get quite embarrassed by it.
“It’s the wider rugby folk. It harks back to the old antipodean attitude with the colonials. We’re all basically a large penal colony down here and we’ve got no right to assert any dominance in global rugby.”
Oliver, speaking to XtraMsn’s Marc Hinton, added: “I know it sounds ridiculous because we’re so far removed from that, and I find myself even thinking when I’m saying it that it sounds rather removed. But you get there and get amongst it and it is there. I gave some friends some tickets and they were just shocked at the level of opprobrium aimed at our players.”