Former All Black and Rugby World Cup winner Ali Williams has admitted that his bizarre attack on the English rugby team in an interview with French paper L’Equipe that he only said what he did to give the English extra motivation to win the tournament.
“Yeah, everyone knows that when the media or other teams disrespect a side, it just gives the targeted team extra motivation,” said Williams exclusive to Sportbox. “Everyone knows England need all the help they can to get out of the pool of death, so I thought I’d just give them a booster.
“It also helps that I just put a cheeky $1000 on them to win the tournament,” added Williams, “so making sure they’re fired up and playing their best will ultimately help me out when they eventually win.”
When asked about his description of the Twickenham crowd, who Williams described as ‘vindictive’, Williams conceded he was also stirring the pot there too.
“They’re not that bad, they certainly don’t have anything on the eye-patched crowds in Christchurch.”
For their part, the English weren’t fazed about Ali Williams’ comments, with coach Stuart Lancaster saying, “Ali Williams? We don’t worry about what he has to say about anything. He was an over-rated player, and clearly is an over-rated pundit too.”