The English rugby team have announced that they will be replying to the challenge laid down by the All Blacks haka at Twickenham this weekend with a politely written letter.
The English Rugby Union, which has always been critical of the All Blacks use of the haka as a pre-game ritual, picked up on the suggestion that teams should have a right of reply to the haka and decided that handing over a letter would be a very “English thing to do.”
“Teams have tried many responses to the haka over the years,” said England coach Stuart Lancaster, “ranging from the French walking up to the All Blacks as they perform it, the Welsh forcing the All Blacks to perform it in their changing rooms, and the Australians who simply forget how to play rugby when they see it.
“We’ve been searching for something that would appropriately reflect our English cultural values, and ultimately we decided that having our caption, Chris Robshaw, deliver their captain, Richie McCaw, a politely written letter would be perfect,” said Lancaster.
“Though we’re fairly certain colonial types aren’t literate, we’re hopeful that maybe the referee or one of the linesmen might be able to read out the letter to the All Blacks.”
In a late scoop, Sportbox have managed to get a copy of the letter that Robshaw will hand to Richie McCaw at the conclusion of the haka.
Dear Mr McCaw,
It is with the greatest pleasure, and humility, that we duly accept the challenge laid down by your “haka” war dance. Though we would like to express our distress that the final gesture – where you appeared to indicate you would like to slit our throats with one of your primitive, native weapons. While we hope you only meant that metaphorically, it’s got a few of the younger chaps a little upset, so if you could please pop over and reassure them before we kick off, it would be greatly appreciated. A few of them were watching that positively dreadful clip of that Jonah Lomu fellow rudely running over the top of Mike Catt and they are just a little sensitive about these things now days.
Furthermore, we would like to wish you and your team mates all the best for this afternoons sporting encounter, and you are all invited to tea and scones back at our club rooms after the match.
Oh, one last thing, apparently you have a certain drinking vessel that goes by the name William Webb Ellis in your possession. It would be ever so nice if you could hand that over at the end of today’s play.