Warren Gatland embarrassed by All Blacks fans booing Quade Cooper

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland. Photo / Getty
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland. Photo / Getty

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has a message for All Blacks fans ahead of next year's tour. Stop being arrogant.

Gatland told the Guardian that he was embarrassed after attending the All Blacks' recent victory over the Wallabies at Eden Park saying that 'a little bit of arrogance' was creeping into the New Zealand crowds.

"As a Kiwi, I was embarrassed," he said. "There was still a large portion of the crowd booing [Australia's] Quade Cooper. Get over it."

"One of the things I was proud of as a Kiwi was showing humility. The All Blacks try to do that but there's a proportion of New Zealanders that have a little bit of arrogance and not humility. It was the first time that I've sat there and thought: 'We're better than this.'"

Gatland wasn't just annoyed with sections of the crowd at Eden Park. He was wasn't too impressed with the Weekend Herald's cartoon of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika depicted as a clown.

Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore called it "disrespectful" after his side's six tries to one defeat. Gatland told the Guardian he agreed.

"You can be proud but you've still got to show humility and respect," he said. "In the past New Zealanders have prided ourselves on that and been humble about the success of the rugby team."

"Obviously there's history between Steve Hansen and Cheika that's come out on a few occasions, but the squad and team have tried to play things down," he said.

Gatland didn't expect the Lions to be treated the same when they play 10 matches in New Zealand next year but said New Zealand fans could learn a thing or two from the Lions supporters.

"I think it's just something that's between Australia and New Zealand."

"One of the things the Lions fans taught the New Zealand public was how to support a team even when they weren't going well. The Kiwis aren't good at that, when the team's losing we're not good supporters. But the Lions fans were."

The Lions begin their tour against a Provincial Unions XV on June 3 before playing each New Zealand Super Rugby franchise, the Maori All Blacks, and the All Blacks in three tests.

- NZ Herald

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