Do the Wallabies have an All Blacks complex?

Having just cleared the way for an epic transtasman showdown next weekend after a 29-15 semi-final victory over Argentina, the Wallabies posted on their official Facebook page: "We're off to our first Rugby World Cup final since 2003, and our first EVER against the All Blacks."

Curiously, an hour later the post was edited, with "the All Blacks" replaced with "New Zealand".

Whether this was an attempt to deflate the image of the defending world champions remains unclear.


In the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, Sir Clive Woodward ordered his players never to refer to the New Zealand side as the All Blacks, in an attempt to demystify the team but the ban backfired, with players complaining that they had to check themselves every time they spoke about their opponents.

The tactic also riled up the All Blacks.

The Guardian reported at the time that Sir Clive had banned the side from using the name "All Blacks" because "he did not want to strengthen the opposition's self-belief by acknowledging their treasured mythology".

"Woodward's tactic seemed petty-minded. Now he will go home knowing that his stewardship of the 2005 British and Irish Lions allowed the All Blacks to write another glorious chapter of the legend that he was so keen to undermine."