Former New Zealand second row Ali Williams has never shirked an opportunity to speak his mind. The 77 times capped Kiwi and former Toulon second row has been speaking to L'Equipe about the pressures of playing a World Cup at home, and how everyone views the English.
Williams wonders out loud if the English "take a perverse delight in everyone hating them":
[They] always carry this consciousness of their grand past and would like to be reminded of their great empire. It’s this that explains why all the big rugby nations want with all their heart to beat them: Australia, France, New Zealand, South Africa. The Welsh hate them and I’m not going to mention the Irish. They create a consensus against them. The worst defeats are those against the English. Perhaps because they lack nobility in their victories.
He doesn't stop there, ranking Twickenham as the most hostile stadium in the world - ahead of anything the New Zealand have faced even in South Africa. Williams describes the atmosphere as "vindictive", and how deplorable it is to whistle against mistakes and missed penalties.
If the English, the only team that nobody wants to see win, win this World Cup it will be a dark day.
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Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE