England’s memorable ‘flying V’ formation in response to the All Blacks’ haka at the Rugby World Cup might not have been all it was cracked up to be.
Though it generated some controversy in the moment, England’s response to the haka was ultimately given the thumbs up by New Zealand coach Steve Hansen.
The team’s formation before the World Cup semi-final ultimately cost them a fine after several players crossed the halfway line before the start of the game.
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But with the tournament in the rear-view mirror, England’s Ben Youngs gave away a little bit more information about the ‘flying V’ during an interview on The Jonathon Ross Show.
It seems the plan wasn’t as perfectly executed as it appeared to be.
“We met the night before and we said it's a challenge and we want to face the challenge and make sure they know we are up for it so let's get into a semi-circle,” Youngs said.
“A few lads were still confused.”
Teammate Joe Marler helped fill in the gaps - putting Youngs firmly back in it in the process.
“The issue was, Ben drew it up the night before… He got up and he did it on a flipchart and he marked it all out with Xs and Os,” he said.
“The issue I had with it is I look at that board and thought, ‘It's not to scale’... I thought we were meant to be closer than what the picture said.
Say what you will about the tactics, you can’t argue with the results after England took a 19-7 semi-final victory over the All Blacks in the semi final.