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Jones' men are hit with fine for defiant response to Haka dance


Defiance: England players confront the Haka
Defiance: England players confront the Haka

By Duncan Bech

England have been fined for advancing beyond the half-way line when confronting the Haka before Saturday's stunning 19-7 World Cup semi-final victory over New Zealand.

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Owen Farrell and his team-mates formed a V shape to face the Maori war dance but several players at the tips of the formation strayed beyond the boundaries established under World Rugby regulations.

The fine, which is understood to be £2,000, will be donated to the global governing body's official charity.

England's riposte to the Haka was a symbolic piece of sporting theatre that set the tone for a remarkable performance in which the world champions were overwhelmed from start to finish.

It was approvingly received across the game and, as one of the defining images of the tournament, was heavily promoted on the World Cup's own social media channels, yet World Rugby were compelled to act.

"England have been fined for a breach of World Cup 2019 rules relating to cultural challenges, which states that no players from the team receiving the challenge may advance beyond the halfway line," a statement read.

"This is in line with the protocol which operates globally across the international game and is adopted by major international tournaments.

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"All fines issued at the 2019 World Cup are being donated to World Rugby's official charitable programme, ChildFund Pass It Back, which is transforming the lives of more than 25,000 disadvantaged children in Asia.

"The matter is closed and World Rugby will not make further comment."

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