If England win the RWC 'it will be a dark day' - Ali Williams lays into hosts

If anyone knows about playing against England at Twickenham it would be former All Blacks lock Ali Williams who made his debut there way back in November 2002.

Fond memories? No, the John Mitchell-coached experiment team lost narrowly but Williams still remembers the occasion and the stadium well. 

"It is the most hostile stadium there is. It's worse than Pretoria. The atmosphere is vindictive," he told French newspaper L'Equipe.

"The supporters sing and applaud when we miss a penalty, and whistle us if we do something they disapprove of in terms of playing style."

Williams has had his success there though so any hint of being a sore-loser wouldn't stick, his forthright opinions built up over years of playing against the English Rose.

"The English always carry this consciousness of their grand past and would like to be reminded of their great empire," Williams said.

While it would seem Williams was looking for a cheap shot, it appears many of the rugby world share his outspoken point of view.

"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," he said.

With such an apparent global groundswell of objection to England to winning the William Webb Ellis Cup, what did Comical Ali really think?

"If the English, the only team nobody wants to see win, win this World Cup, it will be a dark day," he predicted.


Ali Williams