A week after beating England at Twickenham, the All Blacks remain shell-shocked by the venomous treatment they received at the famous ground where they intend defending their world title next year.

The bitter rivalry between the old foes is at boiling point less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup, and the Herald on Sunday can reveal the treatment at last week's already-controversial match is of great concern to All Black management.

And their anger has been echoed by All Black legend Wayne "Buck" Shelford who described fan abuse "verbal diarrhoea".

All Black bosses believe the disrespect shown to captain Richie McCaw was disgraceful, and as Herald on Sunday writer Gregor Paul reveals, other incidents also troubled them:


• The All Black coaches were subjected to "significant verbal abuse" during the match;

• The disrespectful behaviour of high profile officials and VIPs astounded them. Prince Harry was reportedly among those who attempted to drown out the haka by singing the adopted English anthem Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and RFU boss Jon Dance opened the official after-match function by reportedly saying: "I'm just going to say what everyone is thinking. England deserved to win that game."

Why wouldn't a McCaw be happy in the highlands and cities of Scotland, the All Black captain has sliped to number 6 for this test and feels the new AB's need to take thier chances while the old hand Daniael Carter can't wait to return.

McCaw was relentlessly booed during the game and was drowned out afterwards as he accepted the man of the match award. He was also labelled a cheat.

The game was already controversial for the performance of referee Nigel Owens. All Black management felt Owens seemed influenced by the crowd reaction, and were worried how that might affect the Rugby World Cup.

The treatment dished out to the men in black, who won the game 24-21, divided opinion among rugby greats yesterday. Shelford said although it was over the top, it was to be expected from English fans.

"You always get that kind of verbal diarrhoea. And it was always going to be a bit more intense than usual being just a year out from the World Cup."

But fellow great Ian Jones said the All Blacks needed thicker skins, especially come World Cup time. He said the English were simply doing what All Black fans did to visiting teams here.

"The England fans will be at fever pitch when we go back there for the World Cup but the players should be professional enough not to let this bother them. Sometimes getting abuse from home fans just makes you all that more fired up to go out there and win."


Former All Black winger Stu Wilson said the All Blacks should expect a cool reception at Twickenham, especially at the Rugby World Cup.

"It's always hard to beat the English at Twickenham but at some point in next year's competition we're going to have to beat them on their home track."