Fans have slammed England and O2's latest Rugby World Cup advertisement, with some calling it out for "cultural appropriation".

England, who go into the World Cup in Japan as one of the favourites, released a new promo video ahead of the tournament with their main sponsors O2.

The video depicts several England players suiting up in white Japanese samurai armour and riding on horses towards war, with the ad encouraging fans to "wear the rose and be their armour".

While some fans praised the advertisement, many also criticised the video for its tone-deaf references to colonialism, labeling it "disrespectful" and "jingoistic".


"Just did a bit of sick in my mouth," one fan posted on Twitter. "So funny how the colonialists don't even understand colonialism. Looking forward to the pithy defence of this filth."

"Part of the video does look like it is taken from a KKK video," said another fan.

Others just disliked the ad in general: "This is so bad it's comical."

Despite being in possibly the toughest pool of the tournament, England are expected to be one of the favourites to take out the Webb Ellis Cup, and face Tonga on Sunday in their first match.

The tournament kicks off tonight with hosts Japan taking on Russia in Tokyo.