The "silent majority" of New Zealanders are far from enthused when it comes to the All Blacks and the Rugby World Cup, a new survey has found.
Sport sociologist Toni Bruce, an associate professor at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Education and Social Work, is conducting a survey gauging Kiwi experiences and attitudes of the 2015 World Cup. Dr Bruce did similar surveys in 2007 and 2011.
She said this year's results so far revealed a group she calls "the silent majority" - people who are uninterested in rugby and the Rugby World Cup.
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They include "some who are actively resistant to what they see as rugby's dominance of New Zealand's cultural life", Dr Bruce said.
"They don't like what they see as the link to violence, the increasing commercialisation of the All Blacks, or the way that New Zealanders invest so much of their identity into sport."
So far 197 people have completed the 2015 survey. In 2007 there were 131 survey participants and in 2011 there were 267.
Dr Bruce said 37 per cent of the survey respondents reported that winning the Rugby World Cup was personally important to them, whereas the vast majority said it was not.
This 37 per cent figure is lower than in the previous surveys.
So what about the perception of all New Zealanders loving the oval ball game and our men in black? Well, many are hiding their feelings, Dr Bruce found.
"In both 2015 and 2011, people wrote that they would be 'secretly' pleased or would have to 'pretend to be sorry' if the All Blacks lost," she said. "And in 2011, some were accused of being traitors, unpatriotic or not true Kiwis for merely expressing a lack of interest." Staff reporter