Kiwis downplay racist remarks

The All Blacks will not take Aaron Mauger’s racism allegations any further.

The midfielder on Friday claimed he had heard racist remarks directed towards his Islanders team-mates when the All Blacks beat England at Twickenham last year. This drew an angry response from the RFU on Saturday, who asked why Mauger had taken so long to come forward with the allegations.

All Black team manager Darren Shand stood by Mauger’s comments, but did his best to defuse the situation.

“I accept Aaron’s view,” Shand told New Zealand journalists in London. “He’s just stating the facts. It’s a year later and it’s not such a big deal really. It was maybe just a couple of isolated comments, we get them anywhere we play in the world, even at home in New Zealand.”

The All Blacks play England at 17.00 (SA time) on Sunday.