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John Beattie

Why all six nations should back England (419)

I know, I know, it might seem a crazy idea, but I’d like all Scots, Welsh, Irish, French and Italians to support England in the rugby World Cup final. What do you think?

Aaargh, stop throwing bricks at me and let me put forward my logic.

You see, when I was a wee boy growing up in Borneo, the UK seemed a long way away. But it also struck me that all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are quite like each other. For instance, you can’t say that someone a mile north of the Scottish border with England is markedly different from someone a mile south of it.

People living a mile apart along the border between England and Wales must be similar. Or at least they must have more similarities than differences.

I am just back from Shanghai and I have more in common with the English than I do with the Chinese.

And, if I am perfectly honest, I am quite proud that England are in the final because it gives our Six Nations right here, ladies and gentlemen, in the Northern Hemisphere, some more credibility.

Now I know that there have been some skirmishes along our borders over the years. I know that a few Scots walked down to Derby doing a fair bit of damage three hundred years ago. I know we, the Scots, ganged up against the English in a thing called the “Auld Alliance” for a bit of a laugh. I know that the English can be bumptious like no other nation on Earth. And they huff a bit too much when they are beaten.

But the truth is I am fairly pleased that my near neighbours are in the final. After all, no matter what happens, they should be better winners or losers than the rather pathetic All Blacks.

Swing low, sweet chariot. Oh dear, I hope I can keep this up for eight minutes.

John Beattie is a former Scotland international who hosts radio and TV programmes for BBC Scotland.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:05 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jimbob wrote:

Eight minutes or eighty minutes? And surely at least 5 days?

  • 2.
  • At 04:08 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • scott wrote:

i think they should back us as northern hemisphere pride. i also think they backe us as most of them are thank to the english aswel as australia they wouldnt no how to play rugby if it wasnt for us.

  • 3.
  • At 04:10 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Keith Pine wrote:

As an Englishman now living in France and before that 25 years in Biggar ,Scotland.I have watched and "listened" to John Beattie's "take" on rugby matters many times. Duh! I just DO NOT believe this remarkable volte face.

Come on John admit it!You really do want the Boks to win don't you? And preferably by a big big score?
Chuckle.

'awra best eh?

Keith Pine
Saissac.
SW.France

  • 4.
  • At 04:11 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ilyas wrote:

Simple really, unless they absolutely crazy (doubtful) and do a 1991 and throw the ball about England will play tight, kick long for field position.

South Africa have 2 choices; they can try and match England at there game, leading to a tense final with England the favourites (unless they play like Argentina which will not happen), or, they can play an expansive game. If the latter tactics are the one chosen by Jake White and little Eddie, then i believe SA will have won by half-time. The intention has to be there from the off or again they will fail, it has to be all or nothing, with the single proviso that they do not attack from deep only beyond the opposition 10 yard line (easy pickings for JW otherwise).

As such if SA play it tight I'm going for England (serves SA right) and if SA decide to play rugby I'm with them - so is my money!

  • 5.
  • At 04:14 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • weejimmy wrote:

You're off yer heid John!! Maybe your still jet lagged and it'll ware off after some sleep?!

I wouldnt mind England winning either, if we wouldn't have to be constantly subjected to it every time rugby is played for months or years to come.

  • 6.
  • At 04:16 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Mike Robb wrote:

Being a fellow Scot I can whole heartedly say that there is no chance that I am going to be singing 'Swing Low' for 8 seconds, let alone eight or eighty minutes. I've just bought my South Africa shirt a second ago too! Go BOKS BOKS BOKS!

  • 7.
  • At 04:16 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • joes sgs wrote:

well said it would be good if the home nations got behind england as we are all on the same island, just divided by some lines on the map.

  • 8.
  • At 04:18 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Owain Davies wrote:

I thought about this yesterday on my way to the shops. The question "Could I support England?" went through my head. The answer was simple, nope! It's etched in my blood as a Welshman, I just cannot support them!

  • 9.
  • At 04:18 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • paul dawson wrote:

I must say i have to agree, the 6 Nations is all about the rivalries between the home nations and who is top dog, but truth be told i'd root for any of the Northern Hemisphere teams over the arrogance of the SH.

To see both Australia and NZ go down to Northern Hemisphere opposition should have shown that the NH has more heart than it was being given credit for early on in the tournament. It should also have shown that the north can bridge the supposed void between north and south when it matters most.

Here's to 2011 and seeing all the home nations filling the semi-final berths (unlikely i know)

  • 10.
  • At 04:20 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jon MacDonald wrote:

An excellent point John, and an extremely brave one to make. But as a Scotsman I will be backing the Boks for two reasons, one major and the other minor:

(i) Major - I prefer the rugby that South Africa play. I like the fact that they are excellent around the breakdown, have great runners (Habana in particular) and have fantastic basics. I watched the English game against France and have to say I saw two quite nervous sides afraid to try any flowing rugby.

(ii) The second is that I'm not sure I can take another four years of England being world champions. Just having listened to Greenwood's commentary in the SA v Argentina match was enough to put me off to a large extent.

I am aware this is tarring a lot of fantastic english supporters with the same brush, and I apologise for it. Can't help how you feel I suppose.

I am certainly not saying that if Scotland were in your position we would crow any less. But then again I am not asking any other nation to support Scotland.

So I will say go on the Boks, I hope you win - but above, I hope it is a good game of rugby.

  • 11.
  • At 04:20 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rhys Morgan wrote:

What a nonsensical idea!
I would only support those I am related to. Therefore, Wales first, Scotland or Ireland second. If none of the above are playing I just try and enjoy the game.

I don't 'hate' nor wish 'any other' team to beat England. That would be just as nonsensical a thing as John Beattie's idea.

  • 12.
  • At 04:21 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Clark Edgar wrote:

Although the sentiments are fine I remember being in St Etienne and also Paris where English supporters were supporting Portugal and Argentina agaisnt Scotland so I don't see why I should support England. All I will say is that may the best team win.

  • 13.
  • At 04:23 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I, from Wales, will back them!

  • 14.
  • At 04:24 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Nice idea. Anything else you'd like whilst you're at it? World peace? A cure for the common cold?

Though I do suspect rather more people think the way you suggest than is popularly believed.

  • 15.
  • At 04:24 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • DickieBird wrote:

Rather than the 'home' nations getting behind us, it will be the French (and maybe the Italians) that we'll most likely have 'on our side'.
I've yet to meet any Welsh or Scotsman that isn't anti-English in every way - not just sport, but in all aspects of life.(There obviously are some - I just haven't met 'em) Funny, then, that the Irish, who have more recent reasons to be anti-English, seem to acknowledge that England have done well to get to the final, and whilst they won't be shouting for us, won't cheer the Saffers either.
As to your point about being a mile or so from any border can't make people so different - I have to disagree - I'm a Yorkshireman !

  • 16.
  • At 04:25 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Liamin wrote:

NO way. Generally we supported England in 2003 - partly because they deserved it and also becuase we had to breack SH dominance. If it were Wales or Scotland or France then no doubt I would be behind themn one hundred percent.

I just can't bear to hear the crowing for another four years about how England are world champions - particualrly when it comers to picking a Lions team.

Also but most importantly SA are a good team who play as near to Total Rugby as anyone else. Their star player is not from the Afrikaaner heartland and is a township hero - if SA win Bryan Habana's name will be etched on SA sporting lore forever and hopefully boys in the townships will be picking up oval balls and running instead of kicking round ones.

GO BOKKE

  • 17.
  • At 04:26 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jimo wrote:

Beattie you are right. But where is the fun when you can't slag off england when they get beat?

Plus, imagine all that gloating you will get?

Senario: Some english guy who have never played or watched rugby with interest lecturing die hard rugby fans north of the border about how rugby should be played!!! Its the most annoying thing in the world.

But in saying that, good luck to england and if you do win, don't sing that swing low sweet chariot song. It has nothing to do with english rugby.

  • 18.
  • At 04:30 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • M. Spence wrote:

Thanks John, but no thanks. There was a time when we English would offer our unquestioned support to all of the home nations teams including Scotland against whoever they were playing, as long as it wasn't us. Not any more. Your endless sniping at us, and your loathsome, chippy and indiscriminate tendency in all sports to support whoever we are up against (even Argentina for lord's sake) has done for that old goodwill. Keep your half-hearted support, we don't need it or want it. Go on, shout for South Africa, you know you want to, you wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie.

  • 19.
  • At 04:31 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

comments like the one above are the exact reason why the celtic nations do not support england.i am from n.ireland and will definatley be cheerin on the not so self righteous south africans!!

  • 20.
  • At 04:35 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • KingArthur wrote:

As a welshman I had difficulty cheering for Les Blancs against Les Bleus in the semi, despite declaring my support for them before the game. I just couldn't do it. There was a mental block.

However, against the Saffers I will have no such block.

Er... come on... er... England!

  • 21.
  • At 04:36 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Vinny wrote:

You must be mad,i had no problem in supporting the english when they were never likely to win the WC.
But the fear of them actually winning it a makes me shudder.england are a very poor rugby nation at the minute and it would be a crime against the game if they ground out a victory.It reminds me very much of Peter Ebdon vs Ronny o sullivan in the world final.I havent watched a game since!

  • 22.
  • At 04:42 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ollie wrote:

It's not the prospect of England being bad losers that bothers me. It's them being guaranteed bad winners that does it.

  • 23.
  • At 04:42 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rich Davis wrote:

I agree with john! for the following reasons national rivalry notwithstanding first and foremost even with my surname I am a yorkshireman then I am an Englishman, then I am Brittish after that i am a European followed by a northern hemisphere resident. My sporting allegience follows the same route and even in football my heroes were scottish ( Denis Law) irish albe it Northern ( Georgie) rugby heroes have included G.O E probably the best scrum half ever to play the game and barry john. I think of myself as a sports fan and admire quality where ever it was born. But just this once I am a biggotted England fan just because this final could never have happened and we had no reason or right to expect it so please give us our day in the sun. Remember that this also gives Ireland , Scotland and wales a chance to humble the world cup holders? finalists again come the 6 nations

  • 24.
  • At 04:44 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Matty wrote:

The sentiments are spot on. Some 'fans' may have supported the opponents of other 6N teams but they are definately in the minority. I wouldn't expect any of them to don England shirts but at least support their fellow Brits. Come the next Lions tour we'll be mates again (hopefully). Many England fans were unbearably gloating after the last WC but maybe some of that was due to the vitriol directed at the England team by fellow Brits. All of us are passionate about our teams and I still feel for every Welsh fan (less the one I met in Paris on Saturday who kept trying to set fire to my England shirt) but surely there is room to encourage the 'home' team.

  • 25.
  • At 04:47 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • ireland wrote:

no 2 scott absolutely appalling comment. the "colonial subjects" wouldnt know how to play rugby id it wasnt for us- I suppose youre also going to say, they wpuld be heathens if it wasnt for us as well. i'm irish and supporting england because i do appreciate and like the majority of english fans. however comments like yours means that most people will be anyone but england and not because we have a problem. the colonial mindset is long over buddy. australia might be still technically part of england but next election, howard will be out and there will be another referendum on whether or not to become a republic.

  • 26.
  • At 04:48 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Freddy wrote:

I cannot see the Celtic nations supporting England. They are too narrow minded to do that and the vitriol will spew forth irrespective of the result on Saturday - bile if we win and mockery of we lose. It is in their Genes and their mindset is such that they are compelled to hate England. it is "what they do!" As an Englishman I would rather have support from the French even any of the whinging SH countries than the Celtic nations to be frank.

  • 27.
  • At 04:48 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

There appears to be a hugely stubborn myth regarding home nations support. True there is massive rivalry when any of us play England, but that's to be expected given their size, and who doesn't enjoy those games? It is also true there may be a few too many glory-only fans in England, whom only seem to appear in the pubs when a whiff of success is in the air. But when all is said and done I am both Welsh and, most importantly in this case, British. I will be supporting England, with any luck all the way to lifting that golden trophy. And hopefully avoiding more airborn alcohol than I managed on Saturday. I can confirm that Strongbow and black is NOT easy to get out of a white shirt...

Northern Hemisphere Unite! Hands in boys! Gooooooooooo TEAM!

  • 28.
  • At 04:51 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • rubberduck wrote:

this is total filler! a handful of ill-presented arguments against a tired (albeit enduringly controversial) question of old.

"People living a mile apart along the border between England and Wales must be similar." the guy has obviously researched his subject exhaustively.

pathetic!

  • 29.
  • At 04:51 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • James wrote:

Clark Edgar, I think you'll find the reason most English people supported the likes of Portugal and Argentina is nothing to do with disliking the Scots, but support for the underdog (Portugal) and a team that deserves far more recognition and support (Argentina). It's something that has characterised this tournament - huge support from neutrals for the "minnows" and the teams outside the established tri-nations and 6-nations sides.

In the games England had against Tonga and Samoa, I'd expect most neutrals were supporting the pacific islanders (hell, I'd have been happy to see Tonga win, along with Fiji they lit up the tournament). If Scotland were playing in the final against SA (or one of the other tri-nations teams, or France), my support would be firmly with Scotland.

  • 30.
  • At 04:51 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Murray Bateman wrote:

Good on you Mr Beattie. What about the British love of the underdog, surely us english rate as that in this game, if you believe all the South Africans you speak to. Everyone get behind the team and, win or lose, enjoy the third half!!

  • 31.
  • At 04:55 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Helen wrote:

I'm English, and support every 6-nation team, as long as they are playing anyone except England!

  • 32.
  • At 04:59 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

We English are so used to not having the support of any of our Near Neighbours, that to receive your support seems like you wish to put a jinx on us! Keep putting us down, we will rise above it, and, if (fingers and toes crossed), we win it we can rightly rub noses in it as we have done for the last 4 years! If you need any incentive, I (and many other Englishmen) have dutifully cheered on Argentina (twice) and Fiji when it counted!

  • 33.
  • At 05:01 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • tom dai wrote:

what? maybe i'd support England in football....but i don't see why Celtic countries should support England in rugby!! I'd reconsider if they didn't gloat so much. Swing low sweet chariot... atleast other countries have more songs to sing and not just when they are winning.

  • 34.
  • At 05:01 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • andy wrote:

I'm english, with one northern irish parent (and in the history books relatives from most of the british isles). it annoys me when i see/hear or read about the english, scots, welsh or irish cheering on a team OTHER than a home nations side when they're playing. if it were england playing another home nation, id obviously be behind england, but otherwise it would be the home nation all the way. I know there are plenty of englishman who do it, and they annoy the hell out of me too. We should be all in it together! we support different teams, but south africa versus Scotland/Wales/Ireland in the final..., and it would definitely not be the boks id be supporting. COME ON THE HOME NATIONS!

  • 35.
  • At 05:02 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Robert Wilson wrote:

As an Englishman living in wales, I always want to see wales lose due to the constant abuse about being english, even before I knew what rugby was. I always want scotland to win as thats where my family name comes from. Always like to see a NH tam beat a SH (apart from wales). Hatred beget hatred, hate me because I'm english and I'll hate you back.

  • 36.
  • At 05:02 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Smart-alec wrote:

I hear that Oxfam shops across Scotland have been inundated with unwanted Australia and France rugby shirts - the only flaws being chip-shaped grease marks to the shoulder.

Seriously though, I think rugby fans across the British Isles should support any of the home teams against SH opposition. I was gutted to see Scotland go out to Argentina and to see Ireland fail to live up to their undoubted potential.

COME ON ENGLAND - one more heroic slog away from glory!

  • 37.
  • At 05:03 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

I was watching a video tape of the 1991 final with the build up to the match. I wish someone could tell me the background music (in the build up "bit"), it was a guitar solo playing (sounded like Dire Straits) when Guscott scored a great try against the Italians and Deano was dropped/injured. Anyone? BAck to the point - during the build up there was a brief interview with Brian Moore and he said "Nobody likes us and we don't care". True then and still true today...we don't care if the celts or any other nation supports us or not!

  • 38.
  • At 05:03 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • jm69 wrote:

I'm sure that all right minded people would agree that:

The Rules of Support (Subsection: Rugby) are:

(1) Nation of Birth or nation of father's birth of too young to decide otherwise.
(2) Any Northern Hemisphere Team that your NH friends are not banging on about winning the 6 Nations/World Cup (delete as applicable)
(3) Any Northern Hemisphere Team bar England
(4) Any Northern Hemisphere Team left (England)
(5) Argentina
(6) Any SH team excluded from the Tri-Nations
(7) South Africa
(8) The Ref

  • 39.
  • At 05:04 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ian Morgan wrote:

I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than see England win the RWC and have to put up with another 4 years of gloating. Would they support Wales? would they hell

  • 40.
  • At 05:06 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Support England - you asking asking a Welshman to support England ? You cannot be serious !!! Come on the Boks.

  • 41.
  • At 05:08 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • DaveM wrote:

I'll be hoping (as a Wales supporter) England win, as they are British after all.
Should they win, however, I won't be looking forward to every commentator prefixing or suffixing 'England' with 'world champions' every time they say England for the next 4 years though!!

  • 42.
  • At 05:09 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Andy dq wrote:

As an Englishman I totally agree with the comments about the TV commentary! ...listening to Greenwood and the rest blathering on about England whilst SA and Argentina were playing was totally disrespectful and p!ss irritating!

God I hate ITV!

...luckily I will not be troubled by the commentary this weekend as I will be in the stadium itself!

Allez les Blancs!

  • 43.
  • At 05:10 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Freddie wrote:

I’m annoyed that the English football mentality is permeating into Union - for example last weekend more people than normal in the pub boo-ed the French national anthem. But we’re not all like that.
I’m an England supporter - but I’m British, and yes I’d also support France if we'd lost last weekend (and Italy or Romania etc) because my girlfriends from Durban.

  • 44.
  • At 05:13 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jenny A wrote:

As a Scot, I'm actually not sure if I am 'supporting' either team. I just want to see a good, exciting game of rugby. I hope both sides don't resort to a tight, dull, 10 man game......
May the best team win!

  • 45.
  • At 05:16 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Welshandy wrote:

I am Welsh and passionate about Welsh rugby but will still be supporting England and hoping they can do it.

This is not about local geographic politics, this is about North versus South. Northern Hemisphere versus Southern Hemisphere.

Put the local rivalries aside for the world cup final and cheer on England.

We have surely had enough of the Southern Hemisphere nations attacking the poor teams up north so lets hope England put South Africa in their place.

I also hope they use some width and play some Rugby instead of playing a tight game though!

  • 46.
  • At 05:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Sorry John get your tongue out of your cheek and be honest!

It's not only about the historical England, Scotland rivalry, the fact is that if we are to support a team who plays in the "fashion" of England then rugby will die a slow and painful death.

I support the team that has an expansive exciting game so go Boks stick it up them!

  • 47.
  • At 05:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • david wrote:

If it was'nt for the following then perhaps... however I see no chance of this changing - specifially -

1. The constant and over whelming bias of coverage around England throughout the RWC...more commentators had more airtime than the others put together...

2. Greenwood's ramblings throughout the Arg - SA game on - what else but England (the game was a lot better with the sound off...)

3.Being constantly asked(challenged by "fans" who demand to know whether I will be supporting England...(I even saw TV reporters asking MP's this..) is this "support" necessary to ensure sucess ??? being told how "England would support any other home nation..." what rot I have never seen evidence of this...more the opposite - I support my team and no one else's - it's really that simple...to be asked aor expected to support England or anyone else's is'nt going to happen

4.England as underdogs ?? biggest player base, most money, resources etc..what a fable....they should be the best given the depth and resources they have.....


All said and done I can state my admiration at the team's capability to bounce back however and I would never boo or disrespect their anthem...pity I recall a whole set of white shirted "fans" doing worse...charming..not !

  • 48.
  • At 05:18 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Merrill Morrow wrote:

I have enormous regard for many, perhaps even most, of the English players but the thought of having to listen to Brian Moore, Matt Dawson et al for another four years has me without doubt backing the 'boks. When will these 'pundits' realise that they, not the English team, are the reason that almost the entire rugby playing world will be cheering for South Africa on Saturday - or for that matter whomever is playing England, whenever and wherever.

  • 49.
  • At 05:19 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • chris phillips wrote:

people who say "oh no i couldnt bare to be subjected to englands gloating for another four years.."

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? are you stupid? Lets get completely ludicrous for a second now and imagine wales won the world cup in 2003, and were to do so again this year - harry potter stuff.

Try and imagine for a second how intolerable the welsh would be, they were bad enough after the 6 nations triumph. BUT i am not criticising this, it is entirely NORMAL.

For a team like england to win two world cups successively, against the natural physical, athletic and skilled brilliance of the SH teams as well as Ireland, argentina etc, would be an amazing achivement, as it would be for ireland, scotland, wales, france WHOEVER!

How on earth could you knock someone for being completely elated ...world champions 03 and finalists 07...with "one of the most boring / worst / teams in history"

IF england were to win on saturday - a big IF, you see in england we are realistic and not arrogant, take note SH teams - we would go absolutely mental, and would be talking about it for the next for years, DUH!!!!

if you dont like it..."am i bovvad?" NO.

  • 50.
  • At 05:20 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Khun Mat wrote:

Fair play to all you also running celtic nations. There is no way I would be cheering any of you lot on if you had made it to the final.

Better look next time!

  • 51.
  • At 05:24 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Dave Davies wrote:

Can we not just cancel saturdays game and award the cup to the winners of France v Argentina? I just couldn't cheer for the arrogant South Africans and the English are... well, the English. Much better our friends France or the hard playing Pumas took the trophy.

  • 52.
  • At 05:33 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • NottsScot wrote:

M.Spence obviously didn't listen to the BBC news on Sunday then, when it reported English fans draped in Argentinian flags supporting them against SA, wanting to play the "weaker" team in the final. We remember what happened two decades ago too, we were there with you. Must be OK if you do it yourselves, although contrary to popular belief not all other "Celtic" nations are anti-English or support whoever your playing, meet some better people.

The others just get annoyed when you bang on about it forever more afterwards, like we would if we won too, only you don't get BBC Scotland down here, unlike us who have to listen to "impartial" BBC coverage back in Scotland!!!

Good luck to England in the final btw

  • 53.
  • At 05:33 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Paul Newman wrote:

We English know that all you Celts are totally impartial. You don't care who beats England and that's fine. You can share in our reflected glory if you need to or rejoice in our failures if that's how you are. We share one common trait with all our celtic cousins. We're great in ones but when we gather in groups, we're insufferable.

Roll on Saturday!

  • 54.
  • At 05:35 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Keith Holburn wrote:

As a Scot who has lived in the London area for nearly 30 years I have constantly been asked this week by my English colleagues and friends who I will be supporting on Saturday.

My answer has been that I support British athletes in all sports - I cheered when England won the Ashes, I will be hoping Lewis Hamilton wins on Sunday, I was as gutted as anyone when Paula Radcliffe had to retire from the Athens marathon. I support British athletes in all world championships, Olympics etc. EXCEPT I cannot bring myself to support England at either rugby or football.

And the main reason is typified by the completely unprofessional gloating that masqueraded as commentary from Will Greenwood during Sundays game (and also Brian Moore when he is on the BBC). If you want a lesson in professional, unbiased commentary, and a bit of humility as well, then try listening to some old Bill McLaren.

I will be supporting the South Africans on Saturday, because as many people here have said they play the more expansive and better rugby - and England can only win ugly.

  • 55.
  • At 05:38 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Cock of the North wrote:

The Sweaties have got their own Parliament The Welsh have thier assembly The Irish have their government N Ireland should vote on what they want if a united Ireland so be it but give the English our independance from you lot you would never agree who would prop you up them.. Ungrateful spongers the lot of you I am English and would not support Ireland Scotland or Wales at tiddlywinks.. by the way we just beat France in the Final and are now the Conker World Champs lets see if we cant do the double this weekend Anglo Saxons rule...

  • 56.
  • At 05:38 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • john Beattie wrote:

Well, this posting certainly proves that many Brits are nuts.

I hate small minded nutters, I hate when one country thinks it is above others, I hate the fact that we hate each other because someone drew a line on the ground and called it a border all those years ago.

My grandmother happened to be South African, other relatives were English, my father's folks came from Northern Ireland, I was christened by a part Danish and part North American native minister in the jungle of Borneo, and I have English friends.

Maybe I am jetlagged. I can see that Scots wind up the English and vice versa. When I played for Scotland perhaps there was an extra incentive, but that was all about history and the big neighbour, not for any real hate.

So for the sake of Northern Hemisphere rugby I want England to do well.

And as I said earlier I hope that if they win they do so with good grace, and if they lose I hope they do that with dignity.

And if you know me you will know that if I am in a minority then, frankly, I don't care.

  • 57.
  • At 05:39 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ken wrote:

well it doesnt matter to any of us what you guys are shouting for really. those 22 in the white shirts will know all of us lucky enough to be born from the greatest nation will be behind them. quite frankly we know that noone outside would have even thought we would be in this position and frankly we dont care much either. so just go on, pull on your green shirts, as im sure you all have been pulling on your gold and pulling on your blue shirts so far and it hasnt affected us at all- why break a habbit. come on England!

  • 58.
  • At 05:39 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • S Pritchard wrote:

What exactly are you implying Dickie? That it's a shame you didn't wipe us all out because we don't support you because you're 'closest'?
That's not the most compelling argument ever. You must be a whizz with the ladies.

Come on South Africa

  • 59.
  • At 05:40 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Iain Lees wrote:

Im a Scot iving in England and I cant say as I have witnessed the gloating behaviour indicated in these posts. Every game I have been to the England fans have been quite open and honest about their teams chances, and have celebrated their victories and discussed their losses. They want to see good rugby, and they want their team to win. England are winning at the moment, and I say good luck to them. They have my support. If they beat South Africa in the final, they will have deserved it, and it will be a vindication of how they play. With heart, determination and a will to win. Fancy rubgy is fine if it wins games otherwise, it is just showing off. Scotlands decision to field an understrength team against the All Blacks was one of the lowest points of the World Cup, for me. As was their performance against Argentina, where they lacked courage. Wales and Ireland were well beaten, and France went down to England. England is there by rights, and they will fight to win. Rather than always critising Ugly, Boring rugby, we should celebrate a team, and a country, that has an ethos and a history of victory, at all costs. If each home nation team in the RWC played with the same conviction, they wouldn't need to decide whether to support England or not.

  • 60.
  • At 05:44 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ian lofthouse wrote:

If England are playing no matter what the sport I'm English if any of the other Home Nations are playing if not against England I am what it says on my passport BRITISH and proud. it's now Britain against South Africa. My dearest wish is for Scotland and England to qualify for the Soccer European championship Finals and to meet in the Final. Then I am English again

  • 61.
  • At 05:44 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Warren wrote:

I'll be supporting whichever team is playing the better rugby on the night. That's what it all comes down to, right?

That said... I'm a Welshman who was never particularly anti-English, at least until I came to England for university and was overwhelmed by the petty, unimaginative bigotry I encountered. The anti-English sentiment grew as a reaction to that. *shrug*

  • 62.
  • At 05:45 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Hugo Hazzledine wrote:

Welsh, Scots and Irish are all suffering from Small country Syndrome. The truth of the matter is that should it be one of your nations in the final against a Southern Hemisphere side then Englishmen would certainly have their voices behind you.

Perhaps you should drop your overinflated egos for at least one day, refrain from booing the national anthem (happened in Cardiff last weekend - Welshmen behaving like chavvy football fans)and support your neighbours for just 80 mins as we become the first side to retain the Rugby World Cup.

Come on the Lads!

  • 63.
  • At 05:45 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Granville wrote:

I'm a passionate Wales supporter but have always been happy to support the British teams whenever they play. As you rightly point out, it is far easier to feel that I have something in common with English, Scottish and Irish fans than I do with, say, France or South Africa.

I would hope that others feel the same.

But I've still never heard a single Englishman shouting for Wales and the cheer at the final whistle in the pub in Oxford where I watched the Fiji game was deafening!

  • 64.
  • At 05:51 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jack Kellam wrote:

I, even as a welshman, would happily support England, if they played exciting rugby. Watching England is like watching paint dry, I have barely seen one backs move in the tournament. England are very lucky to be where they are, and to be honest do not deserve to be there any more than france and australia.

(please englishman, don't kill me)

  • 65.
  • At 05:56 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

I think some people,mainly the welsh 4get that we are all british..like it or not.Its nice to have rivalry when we play eachother but come on..most english support Scotland/Irl and wales when they play.I think it comes down to they hate it more that England always progress further in most competitions in any sport that any other british nationality,and therefore hate us through spite rather than support us.

  • 66.
  • At 06:01 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Connal wrote:

It is absurd to be told 'it would be best to support England', a strange kind of hoisting morality and pressure on the other home nations. Must get one thing straight: it's every Irishman, Welshman, Scotsman's damn right and spirit to support whoever England may be playing. One of the reasons why the English side and fans are so unpopular is this kind of roundabout blackmail order, trying to bluff people into believeing England's recent grinding victories are a 'good thing'. England never lose well themselves and repeatedly slur the achievements of other sides, so why should there be any difference when the boot's on the other foot? What was so brilliant about the last few years was the lack of arrogance and fatuous delusion; it had been neatly packed away, simply because England had nothing to champion in themselves after dismal performances in the Six Nations.

More importantly it would be tragic not only to support England but to support their style. Here, it doesn't matter who they are: it's banal to watch. The same would be said of any other nation, and it would be spurious to suggest otherwise. It's a defeat for Union and what first attracted so many to the game in the first place. My own experience - along with so some others it seems - was watching rugby matches with pace and flair, great tries, Blanco, Lomu, Galthie, Williams, Brooke, Horan, O'Driscoll. I have to say to the non-entities prattling on about the importance of 'winning' and substance over style, and so-called 'passion, bulldog spirit', that I first loved this game when it was played the OPPOSITE way to those values and tactics now being trumpeted by England. Very few began playing and watching this game to see that kind of suffocation. You would be a moron and devoid of talent if you did.

So after that ask why the other five nations should back England. There's no case for it.

  • 67.
  • At 06:03 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • gavin wrote:

It all comes down to small men and their chips. Chips on the shoulders of the fellow home nations. You will struggle to find an Englishman who wouldn't support any of the Celtic nations in a RWC final but the reverse simply isn't true. One reason - SMALL MAN/NATION syndrome. You should all be proud of being part of great nations infinitessimaly more personal than my ragged nation (England), but your small man/nation syndrome will not let you. Do you not think we would secretly like to be part of the Welsh/Scottish or Irish "clubs"?? We are born into our nations and just get on with it
You lot need to get over it - you might feel better for it!Anger/bitterness are difficult emotions to suppress!
PS Pragmatist says SA deserve to win on overall quality of rugby - I agree with Dick Best who suggests we have papered over the cracks

Honesty call here for me as a Welshman.

Football world cup, I support England 100% of the time (they're never likely to play Wales in a major final!)
Cricket, I support England.
Athletics, I support all English/British athletes.

Rugby? I just can't. I've met too many english rugby amateurs jumping on the band waggon (sorry to all you real english rugby boys out there).

Its good fun to have a bit of banter, isn't it? There, my honest view.

  • 69.
  • At 06:11 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Graeme Taylor wrote:

As a Scot living in England I will say fair play to all England supporters if, having beaten Australia, France and South Africa, they are World Champions again.
However do not expect me to support them for reasons of geography or some sort of misplaced loyalty to an international championship when I find the rugby tedious in the extreme. I would prefer to see the side playing open running flair rugby as World Champions. England are not going to do that on Saturday.
If I was an England forward I'd be wondering who this Jonny is that's getting all the plaudits after they have ensured progress by destroying both the Aussies and the French up front. Good luck England but please don't expect support.

  • 70.
  • At 06:14 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rugbynewz wrote:

After the Falklands I never thought that I would cheer the Argies on at anything but goodness did I want them to do the French in France in the opening game.
England don't need any begrudging support from anybody, there will be plenty of English support in Paris to contribute to the pressure, like the other “certainties” have suffered, the boks will also experience. I honestly believe that England will do it! COME ON!

  • 71.
  • At 06:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Big up Chris Philips,

Who gives a stuff whst the other whingeing NH nations think. The very thought that one of THEM could ever come remotely close to winning a WC is laughable. They win the odd six nations and think they are world beaters.
I served in the BRITISH army with Jocks, Taffy's and Paddy's and whilst there was rivalry there was alwas comaradery when it came to facing other nations. Not so now, I've watched it deteriorate with every nation being to blame, sad but so be it.
Put up the borders and stuff em.
If England win or lose I'll still be sticking it to them for the next four years.

  • 72.
  • At 06:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Simon Tucker wrote:

Amazing how all these Celts expect the English to behave better than they do.

As Nicky Campbell once put it to a fellow Scot about a different World Cup - don't blame the English for talking about 1966 (or 2003) when your viewpoint is embedded in the 15th century and before.

As a proud Englishman I always support the teams of the British Isles against other teams whatever the sport - and am frankly bemused by the childish antipathy by so many from the Celtic fringe.

  • 73.
  • At 06:19 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • James Mackinder wrote:

England's transformation has been primarily due to a previously lacklustre pack mutating overnight into a starving hungry pack of killer wolves. But the Boks are as tough as it comes and I doubt that we'll be able to bully them as we did against Australia and France in the 2nd half. I reckon both teams will win approx 50% of the ball on Saturday. But who will make the best use of the ball? Eng still seem unable to carve teams up in the backs and score tries, apart from the odd, individual piece of brilliance usually from Robinson or Sackey. I think it would be a massive bonus for Eng if Hipkiss starts. SA have backs who can score tries from anywhere. Habana is terrifying to behold - (as an Eng supporter). He is a sensational player going forward and if SA find space and get the ball to him, he could beat Eng on his own. I would love to see Eng chuck the ball around and score magical tries from every corner of the park - but we'll need to give Brian Ashton another year to develop the backs. In this match Eng can only win one way, ie throttle the Boks up front, frustrate them, tackle them to death, pin them inside their own half with an accurate kicking game, make very few mistakes and JW kicks his penalties. Somehow this Eng team, with next to no preparation, (thanks to the INFURIATING + RIDICULOUS decision to keep Andy Robinson on for at least 6 months too long), full of grandads and average players will win by 3 points in a titanic bruiser. Why? Because 1. They cannot even believe that they are in the World Cup Final. This is a dream come true for them. An underdogs shot at the title. Couldn't be a better situation for them and they know it. 2. Over the past 4 years they have sunk so low, been so humiliated and embarrassed, faced so much adversity and been so deeply hurt that as a team they NOW feel as though they are rising as one from the ashes. All the pain of the last 4 years will come out in this one match, they will die on the pitch for their brothers and this belief will PROBABLY JUST pull them through by the odd point or two. It's their mentality + belief on the day that will win it for them, not their slightly above-average ability.

  • 74.
  • At 06:21 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I am English...my wife Irish...my descendants Welsh ( My Grandfather played for Wales after the war ).

I will always supports Northern hemisphere teams...yes even Scotland!
but it does seem deep-rooted that non-English will always always support the other side. It is a shame but i dont think it will ever change, basically because we are a larger part of the Isles and have the "Big Brother" syndrome over the rest.

As I say its a shame because overall we are nice people really!

Also when I finally have my son ( I have 3 girls who have no interest in Rugby) who will he play for? England, Ireland or Wales?...and do you know what.. I wouldnt care who he played for!

  • 75.
  • At 06:21 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Cheech wrote:

I just want a cracking game of rugby.

My fathers italian, my grandparents are french, but I was born and raised in Wales.

I am a welshman who loves his rugby. I love my country as well. Whilst I won't be supporting England or South Africa, I won't be hating them either.

(something, deep, deep inside of me does want the NH side to win though........ very very deep inside of me)

  • 76.
  • At 06:26 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • derby 9 wrote:

as a welshman, I will not be supporting england for one simple reason, the very same reason that you wont see a liverpool fan supporting everton, or a man city fan supporting man u, or any gloucester/bristol/bath fans supporting eachother! its good old fashioned sporting rivalry and bragging rights!
I dont hate the english, Im marrying one, my family tree encapsulates all of the british isles, but my alliegance is with wales. and being a proud welsh man is nothing to do with hating england, england doesnt even come into it so why am i expected to support them?!

  • 77.
  • At 06:28 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • David Jeffries wrote:

Being a proud Welshman i found it difficult to give my support to the enemy from over the bridge,but having met my fiance following an expedition into enemy territory i am now able to waver,dont get me wrong i wont be singing about chariots but come on England do it for the northern hemisphere and the six nations championship.P.S. Best of luck Jake White in your new role as Welsh rugby coach!! Heres hoping!

  • 78.
  • At 06:29 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • MJ wrote:


I don't mind if you celtic folk support South Africa, but if you're going to pray for us to get beaten then don't whine about us English talking about it for the next 4 years if we win.

  • 79.
  • At 06:29 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • llewelllyn wrote:

The whole premise here is flawed; one cannot just *choose* to support a team anymore than one can will oneself to love a woman or like a particular type of cheese.

Beattie may have decided that he supports the England rugby team, and he has come up with a long-winded rationalization of why. However, such a decision is made emotionally not rationally.

I do not support England at anything and never will. As a Welshman, I support anyone opposing England in all sports and most wars. I have no idea whether I *should* or not; the fact is that I do and no amount of logical evaluation will change that view.

My loathing for the English nation does not extend to individuals. I am often happy to see English individuals do well - for instance, I support Ricky Hatton. But put if you stick an England shirt on it I'll wish it the worst.

  • 80.
  • At 06:33 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • barrel wrote:

Please stop having a go at post no. 2. He is spot on. "Colonial" is an old word but "Commonwealth" is not. Anyone who goes to a golf club in India, a hotel in Singapore or a museum in any Australian city will see that the Empire is not gone, it has just changed it's name. She is the Queen of England & the Commonwealth remember.
Anyone of the number of people who are moaning about England crowing for another four years are just jealous. I have a welsh mate who told me that at 10:00pm on the night that Wales were beaten by Fiji S4C(welsh satellite channel) were showing highlights of the 2005 grand slam & great tries from the 70's! England have worn the world champions tag with pride and gone quietly about the business of defending it. Wether we win or lose any fan, no matter what country, will have to admit that England have risen to the occasion, not bottled it as have other "superior" nations. Wales deserved to get beat by Fiji as they had no game plan to beat them. To beat Pacific Islanders you keep it simple and structured, Wales wanted to run it from their own 22 against the best 7's players in the world ! To be honest if Scot's, Irish, Welsh or whoever can't get behind England on Saturday I don't care. We have enough genuine fans who appreciate the efforts of the current players no matter what the score and don't need to harp on about legends from 30 odd years ago. The Empire is alive and well and if it wasn't for the oil fields off Aberdeen or the now empty coal mines in the valleys, we would have let Scotland and Wales have their independence long ago. At least the Irish give a good welcome even if they don't like you! England will play their way, give 100% and respect the opposition players and fans at the end. The score doesn't matter, all you whingers on this blog make me even more thankful I am English. God Bless.

  • 81.
  • At 06:40 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

I don't think this supporting/not supporting is really anything worth worrying about though. It's sport for heaven's sake, not life or death.

We live in the same country, on the same island (mostly) and we share a common outlook towards most things. Sure, when it comes to sporting events we'll tease each other, we'll wind each other up, hell, sometimes we'll even enjoy the discomfort of our fellow Britons.

But we know we are all on the same side when it comes to anything crucual. Sports events where the constituent countries play separately are akin to a family argument, nothing more.

I'd love to see all Scots, Welsh and Irish backing England, but it isn't going to happen. Nor is it going to happen that all English would support one of the other nations if they were in the final, and very often for the same reasons. I can well imagine an Englishman saying that he couldn't possibly support Wales in a World Cup Final because they would be unbearable for the next four years if they won it. And of course they would be, just as England have been.

It's part of the nature of the peculiar combined country we are, full of petty jealousies and rivalries. That's not something for us to be ashamed about, regardless of how the media might view it, it's part of the rich tapestry of these islands.

If we didn't have that rivalry, we'd probably have to invent it.

Sure, there are some exceptions across all home nations where there is genuine antipathy, but for the most part it is given and accepted in good spirit. Rather than wailing about how appalling it is, take heart from a country that is sufficiently comfortable with itself to be able to bitch and moan at each other constantly without taking up arms against one another.

It's the beauty of being British, you know. And as an Englishman, may I say long may it continue!

  • 82.
  • At 06:41 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • steve wrote:

John

Good try but sounds like the idea was sunk by bigotry on all sides. Must admit that like several of the posters I used to support all the home nations in competitions when I was younger. The sheer hatred and venom, often accompanied with a distinct ignorance of actual history, has resulted in a lot of alienation. As such when a member of the other home nations is playing a foreign on it often depends on my mood and who's been saying what recently. [For instance the insults and abuse directed at both my team and nation on those blogs in previous weeks meant I wasn't totally shattered when the other home nations went out]. Intellectually I know that not all Scots, Welsh, Irish are ignorant bigots, and as this thread as shown some English can match them. However as one poster says hatred tends to breed if not hatred then at least a good measure of contempt and distain.

I’ll welcome support from any fans, of whatever nations, who will support the team, either in respect of the fighting spirit their shown or because they would prefer us to beat a SH nation and try and shut up the flood of comments about the superiority of the latter’s rugby. If other want to support SA because they think they play better rugby, that’s their choice. If they choose to do so because of their xenophobia then that’s no skin off my nose and there’s only one nation their actually disgracing. Similarly I wish the bigots from the English side would shut up and stop degrading England.

Steve

  • 83.
  • At 06:42 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

As a Scot living in Ireland, I have supported England in both the 1/4 and semi-finals.
I was down the pub on Saturday and found some of the anti-English sentiment a little pathetic. However this weekend I will be backing South Africa - though this is only because I will win a few hundred euro if they win.
Usually I would back England against a southern hemisphere team

As to England not deserving to be in the final, you have to say they were the better team both this Saturday and last

  • 84.
  • At 06:42 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • albert wrote:

rite if any other of the 6 nations teams were in the final example scotland would the english support them i dnt think so !!! so i am goin for SOUTH AFRICA YOOOOOOOOOOO

  • 85.
  • At 06:51 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Bob Thorburn wrote:

I hope that England get a good spanking not because I'm a Scot, but to shut Will Greenwoods gob.For the entire 80 mins of the SA V Argentina semi, he done nothing but talk about England. I thought he was watching the wrong match.Come on ye Boks.

  • 86.
  • At 06:53 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • sorcha wrote:

come on england- as an irish fan it's so annoying to see the anyone but england rubbish going on here. i/ve never seen such bigotry and small mindedness in my life. and as for comments about not being able to bear 4 more years of gloating- hello! if ireland won the wc we'd be celebrating and rubbing it in everyone's faces too! it's called being delighted out team won it- although not much chance of that happening anytime soon. and if england do win it again- all respect to them for being the 1st nation to win back to back wcs. sorry but english fans have every right to celebrate and "gloat" and the other moaning whingers should not be so hypocritical. if wales ireland or scotland won it, do ye honestly think ye wouldnt throw it in england's face all the time! get real. come on england!

  • 87.
  • At 06:58 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ken wrote:

i have friends at college from all over the isles- ireland, france, england, wales and scotland. it doesnt boil down to hatred (with exception of ireland in some cases). the morning after of that performance that left england niled was one of the longest mornings- i lost count of how many people there was to say something! its the irish triple crown, or the calcutta cup- you know ou guys love to rub it in as much as you like- since 2003 we havent had any real chance to do so! but guess what people- england are back and still there!

and also it wasnt the pace of Habana or pieterson that beat england 36-0 it was the pace of du preez over perry at scrum half. gomersall is a different person and this time we have an outhalf- and a little confidence to...

  • 88.
  • At 07:06 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • John wrote:

Do we want the other home nations to support us? I hear that Gordon Brown is now going to the final. Sounds like the kiss of death for England.
John

  • 89.
  • At 07:06 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ebob of Raynes Park wrote:

Forget it! Nice thought but theres no way it'll happen and why should it. Its better that the whole world is against us. We used to have a saying at Raynes Park RFC - NO ONE LIKES us we dont care! It'll create a stronger resolve and keep the boys focused.....

  • 90.
  • At 07:09 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Henry wrote:

I'll be supporting South Africa, not because of the English team itself, but because of ITV's appallingly one eyed coverage. Will Greenwood was supposed to be commentating on the SA/Argentina semi and spent most of the match talking about England!The England players (and Martin Johnson in the studio) generally have to try and calm down the ITV interviewers and get them to talk sense. Its understandable to be excited, England have shown a huge amount of courage and guts to get to the final, but come on, a bit of sensible intelligent coverage would be welcome, a SA win in the final might just get them to do that!

  • 91.
  • At 07:10 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Gareth wrote:

I'm a Scot living south of the border hoping that England don't win so i don't have to put up with the bragging of my friends.

When I asked my dad what he thought he wanted to support England but found that the press and not the England team put him off. The team are level headed, but recently the press had gone mad (it might just be the ITV coverage though!!)

After a week or so of the World Cup starting we were told the the SH teams were so far ahead of the 6 nations teams, they were playing a different style and tempo of rugby. BUT NZ are not all conquering and the Ausies have no pack.

Did I enjoy the 36-0 scoreline, yes, do I think it will happen again..no.

Will I support England? Ask me on Sunday....

  • 92.
  • At 07:16 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Kevin wrote:

LLewellyn,

You would support those fighting against England in most wars? What about your countrymen fighting and dying beside them? Get a grip.

  • 93.
  • At 07:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • AbbyNo7 wrote:

I'm a proud Scot and i will be supporting England on Saturday. I supported them at the last World Cup and will do so again. They are the standard bearers for Northern Hemisphere Rugby
With all the Southern Hemisphere superiority complex going around it feels good that it's not an all Southern Hemisphere final. This proves that when it comes down to it the Northern Hemisphere sides have what it takes when the business end of the tournament comes around. There has only been one all Southern final and that was in 1995.
Still saying all that if South Africa do win i wouldn't mind too much either because i have a lot of love for that country and love the South African people.

  • 94.
  • At 07:23 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Mic wrote:

To post 51. I totally agree we Scots would be cock a hoop with delight and spend years going on about how we made it to a final never mind winning the thing!(If only that dream would come true) BUT we would do this within our own Scottish media, be that TV, radio, newspapers and wouldn't subject the rest of the British isles to it, unfortunately the Celts can't escape from English gloating as the media equate England as meaning Britain so the national broadcasters insist on shoving any England news down our throats. From a young age Scots children grow up being made to feel inferior to the English, as their national sports and news is rarely mentioned, never mind championed, tonight on Newsround a brief mention of Scotland have a football match tomorrow and then several minutes with footage of England training on a plastic pitch and their game in Russia!! Out of that feeling of 'its nae fair' comes the reason for not supporting England this is why most people don't want England TEAMS to do well. I love Paula Radcliffe and Seb Coe is my all time hero. Also I have never found English rugby entertaining (Scotland not that brilliant either over past few years but its my country and I love it!) and I do support SH teams as their style of rugby much more entertaining. And by the way why must we support another British team since when did that become the law?!

  • 95.
  • At 07:24 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

As a Welshborn chap that moved to England when still young I can say that I developed a healthy attitiude to support Wales and anyone that played England.

However, nowdays I'm happy with watching good rugby and remain as neutral as possible when Wales are not playing. I'd have loved to have seen the Pumas win for the sake of rugby in the world (only after we were dumped out by Fiji mind!).

Lets just have a good match eh?

  • 96.
  • At 07:24 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • JC wrote:

Chris #81 - Spot on.

  • 97.
  • At 07:25 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Leinstered wrote:

Guys, you are all taking this blog far too seriously. It is hardly bigotry or ignorance to want your fiercest sporting rival to lose.

Would a Man City man cheer for United in a European final? Would a Celtic man cheer for Rangers? Why is is so hard to expect that an Irishman wouldn't want England to win? How many Australians or New Zealanders will be cheering on their Sanzar buddies? Very few I expect. It's simply sporting rivalry. Stop making it out to be something more sinister.

I'll watch the match with a few English mates. I'll cheer for South Africa, but no matter what happens we'll have a few pints and a laugh.

  • 98.
  • At 07:27 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Sam Boon wrote:

Perhaps just sour grapes? Come on England!!!!

  • 99.
  • At 07:27 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • winston wrote:

You guys assume the cultural, psychological distance between safrica and england is immense! Historically, the links are intimate. This is a rugby match between cousins, albeit not of the kissing variety.

  • 100.
  • At 07:31 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ian C wrote:

England were undoubtedly the best team in 2003 but this tournament they have been simply dreadful to watch.Apart from Gomarsall their backs have only tackled(brilliantly0 but with the ball they have done nothing.i can't remember any English line break at all-apart from one brief spark from Robinson.Their courage and belief is something to be admired.My heart goes out to France because if they hadn't beaten All blacks,England would not have made the final.When will any French team ever beat an English team in a game that really matters-even Heineken cup finals.
There is no doubt S.A. play good rugby from 1-15.My fear is that if England win rugby will turn into a game where you simply kick the ball away,pray for them to make a mistake and kick over your penalties.If any other country played like this the journalists from the U.K.-notably Sunday Papers would be up in arms about how boring their tactics are.I'm glad southern hem has been taken down a peg or two,but I will still support Boks for the good of rugby as the most entertaining team game there is going.

  • 101.
  • At 07:33 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jeremy Boot wrote:

I absolutely agree about Will Greenwood. Though I'm an Englishman by the end of the Argentina vs. SA match I wanted to thump the idiot. I cannot stand all that English boasting and gloating -it's why other countries get so hacked off by us. But I would like to say that Greenwood isn't typical.

On another note is anyone else sick of the imbecile commentators spending more time judging the officials than the players? Bring back the irreplacable Bill MacLaren - what a wonderful man and a genuine and impartial lover of rugby. He'll always be the greatest commentator.

  • 102.
  • At 07:35 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rhys Gibson wrote:

Im A True Englishman and i think all of the six nations should back us. Dont u want the cup to stay in the northern hemisphere team? I would if it was wales or scotland in the final. Its the same as football and european competions, You always want the British teams to do well such as the champions league. I must say for all the six nations to get right behind England in the upcoming final

  • 103.
  • At 07:37 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wel wrote:

i think i have a "revelation" for why in wales at least we dont like to support england (other than all the history stuff thrown around). i`ve grown up watching wales in the decline. throughout my teens and adult life i`ve watched my team try desperately to re shine like the 70`s, only to be left glaringly short at the final whistle. i never knew the glory days of welsh rugby so i never had a benchmark. i DO remember growing up and listening to english commentators always brinnig every conversation BACK to english rugby regardless of who was playing with a vieled emphasis on that being the important topic of the day. this built up a resentment in me towards english rugby, the constant reference in ALL sports bulletins, papers and matches that appeared to dismiss the "celtic" nations as appetisers to the main event. i dont hate england, (i married an english girl!) i would just prefer it if wales, scotland and ireland were given equal "status" by the likes of jim rosental et al who do the english rugby cause serious damage with their endless drivel. i know english rugby supporters who actually appear human and like the same pints i do!! (i haven`t actually found one willing to gloat right into my face, the same way the sports commwentators seem to every time they open their mouths!) if a genuine census was taken you might find the welsh public are more in favour of england winning..mainly because they did it aganst the odds....i will continue to cheekily goad my father in law but thats only for fun...isn`t it?

  • 104.
  • At 07:43 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • derek belm wrote:

I think I'll be as supportive of the English as they are of the rest of the UK.

  • 105.
  • At 07:45 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Steve J wrote:

I am a Welshman living in England, with a son also born in England.

I'm afraid that hell would have to freeze over for me to support England in a rugby match. When the All Blacks win the World Cup I'll be there supporting England!!!!

I went to a cricket match in the summer and the abuse was a disgrace. If the word Welsh was swapped with any other eastern culture in the abuse we receive it would be unacceptable.

I believe only a TRUE welsh rugby supporter would share my views.

  • 106.
  • At 07:47 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • briton wrote:

well its only rugby i cant see why evey person thats not from england seems 2 hate us. its stupid i was over the moon wen the scots beat france at footie n wen wals played so well v nz

  • 107.
  • At 07:48 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • GSR wrote:

As a proud Irish rugby supporter, I will be cheering on England this weekend.

The only thing that grates me is that I will still be hearing about it in when I'm 97 in the old folks home. I'll just stick in my iPod, listen to a bit of David Bowie and let Geroge bore the hell out of the rest of the crusties..

  • 108.
  • At 07:49 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rory wrote:

As an aside, I think you will find that very VERY few Irish from south of the border even regard Irish as a "home nation" (and as we haven't been for the best part of a century, you had best catch up at some point)

That said, I'll support a NH team over a SH team anyday... so deep breath... "Swing looooooow, sweeeeeet chariot"

  • 109.
  • At 07:52 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Andrian Harsono wrote:

I understand the logic of this. I am sick of tired of Southern Hemisphere dominance and I really want NH sides to win RWCs more often. If Scotland, Ireland of any one fo the Six Nations were to be in the final, I will be supporting that side too.

  • 110.
  • At 07:52 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • James wrote:

So much bigotry, Look what it did for SA

  • 111.
  • At 08:04 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rob T wrote:

These days the English wouldn't expect any other country to support their sporting achievments, least of all our glorious British neighbours. I've never met a 'celtic warrior' that has never shown open and complete arrogance and dislike of anything English. It's very naive to suggest that this is a 'United Kingdom' in this day and age.

  • 112.
  • At 08:06 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • past it fullback wrote:

I am English and I (like all other English supporters that I know)was cheering my heart out for France against NZ. Had that been any other NH nation and particularly if it had been one of the home nations playing against NZ, the cheering would have been just as loud, if not louder. I do not want to bring politics into a rugby blog, but we are The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which includes England, Scotland and Wales as well as Northern Ireland. I support my country and that includes all the nations that make it up. Rivalry on the rugby field is great and amongst supporters at a match it is great fun. It should be akin to inter-regimental rivalry in the army or inter-house rivalry in a school. Ultimately we all belong together and we should be proud of that fact. I am proud to be BRITISH, not English (except when it comes to rugby!!) and come the Olympics, we will all be supporting the same team!

  • 113.
  • At 08:08 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jamie wrote:

Support England, or don't. We do not care. We're in the Final!

  • 114.
  • At 08:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

I am English by birth and I will be 100% behind South Africa come kick off on Saturday. This is a decision I have made and, having lived for 3 years in South Africa, I love the nation and its people.

As a South Africa supporter living in Britain, I have been battered by people who all think England will win and are a better side. I doubt this, and do believe we will win, though I also appreciate that England are very dangerous in scrappy, tight matches.

My main reason for commenting though is the totally biased reporting that has been noted by others. I am sick of the "England is wonderful" stick used by all tv channels in this country. There was a time when commentary was biased, but it took the biscuit on Sunday when the idiot reporter asked John Smit straight after our fabulous victory for all his insights and thoughts about how wonderful England were.

How's about asking him about the South African team or even the Argentinian team and their achievements. After all that was the game in question.

And then people have the cheek to call us Boks arrogant. Talk about hypocrisy...

  • 115.
  • At 08:20 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • keith wrote:

...personaly I dont mind the small minded bigots supporting 'anyone but England'...what I did mind was being spat on by Welsh supporters when England won 2003 rugby world cup. No doubt there will be plenty of apologists justifying such actions...just as there where when a disabled child was attacked in Scotland for wearing an England shirt during the last football world cup.

  • 116.
  • At 08:22 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Paul Smith wrote:

I've looked at a few posts on this thread and it's absolute dross.

I don't give a toss who the celtic nations support - it's not going to effect the result is it ?

let them support who they want - it's important to them - not to us.

  • 117.
  • At 08:32 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • tom williams wrote:

i am a welsh man so there would be nothing i would like to see more than for england to get a beating at the hands of south africa. I know we are all british but really if wales were in that position to win something i think england would support the other team as well and if they say they don't they are lying. i just dont like the english rugby team full stop. for them to be in the final and wales, ireland and scotland at home is a disgrace and the celts needs to pull their fingers out and play some decent rugby in the 6 nations and hopefully beat england

Is n't time everyone recognised that the greatest Empire (by land and population) of all time was in fact English and not British?

I would rather the Scots etc did n't bother supporting England.

I hope they continue to hate England in the way the Welsh, Irish etc does.

I am looking forward to the day when England is separate from the union and the wee other UK nations become insignificant backwaters of Europe.

England to retain 'our Bill'.

  • 119.
  • At 08:37 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • M. Goldstone wrote:

why the chip on the shoulder?If any of the home nations were playing in the final,i would support them to the end!

  • 120.
  • At 08:37 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

I am an Irishman living in England.

I do wonder what planet all those people who are complaining about the English being arrogant and expecting to win are living on!

Every Englishman I have heard talking about the World Cup and their stunning display so far have been the model of modesty and understatement.

Rather like their team are behaving.

Those Celts and Southern Hemisphere folk who say otherwise are unfortunately showing their jelousy with there comments on this site.
Please stop fellas its showing the English a side we should really have rid ourselves of many years ago!
After all most of them would happily support a home nation team if one of us were to do so well- what does that tell you about them and us?

  • 121.
  • At 08:40 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • snow wrote:

I recall the quote from Andrew Mehrtons who said that the England rugby team were "p***ks to lose to" I don't know why but that I think sums up the mood of a lot of non English rugby players/fans, not just the celtic nations but the southern hemisphere ones too. There is something annoying about the England rugby team and its followers. It's nothing to with being English - there's nothing wrong with that - but something about them that is hard to put one's finger on. Is it their boring style of play (yes, it's boring - the one thing the wins over Australia and France had in common apart from England winning was that they were dire). Is it a sort of public school arrogance in some of the players and their supporters? Certainly the adopted public school anthem, swing lo, is simply awful, that sound of drunken braying toffs is enough to make you want to throw up and I wish they would sing something else, anything else. There are certainly a number of individuals who stick out: Woodward, Dallaglio, Back, Dawson, Healey, Moore, Carling Guscott (I could go on). No doubt the dislike is heightened by their success (we used to laugh at them in the 80's) but there is something about England rugby that gretes and it seems only England fans are unaware of this.

  • 122.
  • At 08:43 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Calum wrote:

I live in wales and i'm behind england for the world cup
i support wales but my parents are english

alot of people in mmy school are supporting south africa
bu cumon on england

swing low
sweet chariot

cumon johnny

  • 123.
  • At 08:50 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rob T wrote:

Ref post 122

Now THAT is dross!!

Blatent anti English as they come..

  • 124.
  • At 08:52 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • tim c wrote:

post 67
you are probably a very good advert for the old saw
If you do not anything constructive to say say nowt.
Glad post`s like this got through the moderator.
Now i hope i have the right to reply.
A fairly childish reaction to people who have a different opinion,. calling them nonentities moronic and devoid of talent.
As regards the running rugby even the players you mention would have struggled to play without forwards to win them the ball backs need a platform to play running rugby unless the idea is to play barbarians rugby agreement not to tackle..
If unfortunately all england have is substance it would be rather stupid not to make a virtue of necessity. NO mention of forwards meads cotton price jones telfer
maso .funny game.
Probably best if you kept your support anyway a bit too bilious for my taste

  • 125.
  • At 08:53 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Stuart wrote:

The problem with watching this world cup is the biased commentating from all English commentators. I enjoy a good game of rugby, whether it is England playing or not, however I did get annoyed at listening to Will Greenwood telling all how great it is that 'we' are in the final, blah, blah, blah... when watching the SA v ARG game. So, for this reason alone, come on the BOKS..

PS..For the record, when John Beattie used to commenttate on Scotland games he was just as biased and just as annoying...!

  • 126.
  • At 08:58 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

No. 122. I wrote the 115 article and I totally agree with you. I personally think that the media is largely responsible for creating the irritation. I just have one rule in rugby - support any side who are playing England including New Zealand and Australia though it pains me to say it.

UP THE BOKS.

  • 127.
  • At 09:03 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Rob harper wrote:

Personally, I don't give a damn whether the Scots,Welsh and other losers support us in the final. We got there, they didn't

  • 128.
  • At 09:03 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • aupasf wrote:

What is all this "patriotic" non sense about the NH? The NH/SH opposition is just an invention of the media. I have no score to settle with NZ, Oz nor SA!I am French and I see no reason why I should support England rather than SA, based solely upon the fact that one country is in the NH and the other in the SH!
As a neutral, I ALWAYS suppport the underdog or the team that plays the most attractive type of rugby. (BTW, neither France nor England achieved that,last week).
So my support will rather go to SA next saturday. But if England is unfairly reffed, or plays a great rugby (god forbids!), then I'll back them. For what it is worth...

  • 129.
  • At 09:11 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • keith wrote:

poster 122
Jason Robinson..Andrew Sheridan...Jonny Wilkinson...drunken,braying toffs?
Three nicer modest guys of any nationality you could not hope to meet..no small ability either, no doubt you consider Jason Robinson 'boring'.
Not just a bigot but a real rugby expert to boot eh?


  • 130.
  • At 09:13 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

I don't need the support of the Scottish thank you- but it would be nice.

I moved to Edinburgh a number of years ago supporting Scotland as a sporting entity. But having been there and seen them crawl to the pub in their droves to maliciously support England's opposition whoever they might be, one wondered why? Well now I don't support them, it's simple. What's more I took a perverse pleasure on Saturday in the company of two Scottish friends in Oxford who tried to hide but clearly hated the audible English passion and jovial celebrations. It nearly made up for losing to France in Euro 2004, nearly!

  • 131.
  • At 09:20 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • BUSHY wrote:

No-one has the right to tell anyone who to support. I certainly dont want English support and totally welcome the fact that rugby fans across the world see the very big difference between England and Britain; they also see why the Celts wont support the Ingerlish.

But the English dont get it - they even have the arrogance to play the British Anthem instead of one of their own !!!

Go Bokke - the world of rugby is behind you.

  • 132.
  • At 09:21 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

Tom (no. 121) is refreshing to hear.

I am a Scot living in England. I have brought up my family in this county and have felt perfectly welcome and at home here.

I do still support Scotland of course but support England as a close second.
I really think non-English people just simply follow the crowd and dont make up their own minds.

I am yet to meet a so called "arrogant Englishman" I have lived there for 23 years!

I have been to Twickenham surrounded by English and loved their wit, banter and non-bigotry which you dont get from any other home nation, even my own!

They are no different to the rest of us. Its small mindedness, jelousy and little nation syndrome you are all showing.

Have you not realised that they thrive on that, it unites them and frankly belittles us! Unite behind them!

  • 133.
  • At 09:21 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

Not going to happen.

Two reasons -
1) The form of rugby played does nothing to entice non rugby fans to watch our great game
2) Unlike 2003 when England were the best side in the world, this is not actually that good a side

  • 134.
  • At 09:23 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • esdee wrote:

If a northern hemisphere team wins then rugby will loose, and any one who loves rugby, and I assume that includes six nations supporters, wouldn't want that.

  • 135.
  • At 09:24 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • David wrote:

have always believed that unless they are playing England, you should always support Ireland, Scotland or Wales. After all most of the English have the blood of their neighbour's flowing in their veins. I would also hope that these neighbor's would feel the same. It is sad to hear that they don't. The rhetoric just seems like sour grapes. Please grow up and support your neighbor's. This is Rugby not football.

Englishman in the USA

  • 136.
  • At 09:28 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • snow wrote:

Sorry, I forgot to mention Will Greenwood. I am sure that he is a perfectly decent human being but, boy, is he annoying. Some of the stuff he comes out with is extraordinary. Did you hear the grassy knoll reference in the South Africa Argentina game? And something at the end of the Wales Fiji game about consigning the Welsh grand slam team to the dustbin of history. What a cliche. One ex England player who I happen to think is ok is Martin Johnson, of all people. Unlike the Dawsons and Greenwoods of this world who just love the sound of their own voices (can someone tell me who, apart from the man himself honestly thinks that Dawson is even remotely funny?) he is quite matter of fact, ok a little bit boring maybe but fair.

  • 137.
  • At 09:34 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Go blind Strings wrote:

To back Tom above i am also an irishman living ni england, for your victory in 2003 it was never shoved down the throat of your 6 nations neighbours, you treated your victory with dignity and respect for your 6 nations competitors, (unlike the 1966 mob who cant let go) , as a munster fan your current gutsy performance remind me of my own province, cheered for you in 2003 and will be chering for you on saturday night go on england.
PS Most rugby fans in ireland i know feel the same.

  • 138.
  • At 09:35 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Tim Knight wrote:

The main song for the Rugby World Cup is called 'World in Union' Perhaps we should all take note...

----------------------
There's a dream,I feel
So rare,so real
All the world in union
The world as one

Gathering together
One mind, one heart
Every creed, every colour
Once joined, never apart

Searching for the best in me
I will find what I can be
If I win, lose or draw
It's a victory for all

It's the world in union
The world as one
As we climb to reach our destiny
A new age has begun

We may face high mountains
Must cross rough seas
We must take our place in history
And live with dignity

Just to be the best I can
That's the goal for every man
If I win, lose or draw
It's a victory for all

It's the world in union
The world as one
As we climb to reach our destiny
A new age has begun

It's the world
The world in union
A new age has begun
------------------------

  • 139.
  • At 09:35 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Smudge wrote:

I love it !!

Everyone's saying they are supporting SA because they play beautifull flowing rugby.

Come off it, you hate us and you know it.............and we love it and thrive on it !!

If any of the Celtic nations ever got close to a final, they wouldn't care about the style of play.

The best sort of rugby is winning rugby.......come on England

WIN UGLY !!!!!!!

  • 140.
  • At 09:43 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Peet wrote:

the aggro in rugby that england and its supporters get is unbearable at times, altohugh looking at it from a historical perspective it makes sense. nearly every rugby nation is an ex-colony (or still is, appologies to welsh and scotch readers, i am not purposely digging at you, it may not be politically correct, but it is fact) once subject to the government in london. i have experienced both indirectly and directly hatred for simply being english, and i think as a nation we put up with a lot of stick from all quarters, much of which is unjustified. we even have little pride in ourselves as a nation and anyone whos actually lived there will know how quick the english will put down themeselves. its quite sad and makes me sad for a nation that has previously achieved so much. i am no blind patriot but a little more pride in general would benefit us and everyone in general. pride such as the scots and welsh (to name a few) have for all the many good things about their countries.

the one (excellent) vent for patriotic feelings is sport. i personally have been begrudged in supporting scotland (in particular) in the past due to the uneccessary abuse i get from the many scotch i know and have known, and their hatred of english things, particulalry at sport). my heart tells me to support any english (except chelsea the cheats, he he), then british then NH team, and i do just that, bar the above feeling. it is clearly a two way street and many comments here by english fans do not help.

the artcile is correct. for feck's sake get behind teams from the same islands and hemisphere, save our rivalry (mostly good natured) for the 6 nations. ultimately the number of french supporting england in the final will make no difference on the score but it would be nice if we pulled together.

  • 141.
  • At 09:46 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • sammmm wrote:

CMON BAC ENGLAND UP THE ENGLAND TEAM AINT JUST REPRESENTING ENGLAND BUT ALSO THE NH!!
surly you dont want a SH team 2 win. why dont yu really show what the NH spirit is about and cheer are NH team on???? dont matter wat NH team it is but CHEER THEM ON!! it just happens 2 be england this year so PLEASE cheer them on!
you can say to any SH and say where was the first team to win it twice?
you know where!! NH!!!

  • 142.
  • At 09:48 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Peet wrote:

the aggro in rugby that england and its supporters get is unbearable at times, altohugh looking at it from a historical perspective it makes sense. nearly every rugby nation is an ex-colony (or still is, appologies to welsh and scotch readers, i am not purposely digging at you, it may not be politically correct, but it is fact) once subject to the government in london. i have experienced both indirectly and directly hatred for simply being english, and i think as a nation we put up with a lot of stick from all quarters, much of which is unjustified. we even have little pride in ourselves as a nation and anyone whos actually lived there will know how quick the english will put down themeselves. its quite sad and makes me sad for a nation that has previously achieved so much. i am no blind patriot but a little more pride in general would benefit us and everyone in general. pride such as the scots and welsh (to name a few) have for all the many good things about their countries.

the one (excellent) vent for patriotic feelings is sport. i personally have been begrudged in supporting scotland (in particular) in the past due to the uneccessary abuse i get from the many scotch i know and have known, and their hatred of english things, particulalry at sport). my heart tells me to support any english (except chelsea the cheats, he he), then british then NH team, and i do just that, bar the above feeling. it is clearly a two way street and many comments here by english fans do not help.

the artcile is correct. for feck's sake get behind teams from the same islands and hemisphere, save our rivalry (mostly good natured) for the 6 nations. ultimately the number of french supporting england in the final will make no difference on the score but it would be nice if we pulled together.

  • 143.
  • At 09:52 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Keith wrote:

as an irishman i was supporting England but i just cant do it any longer due 100% to Will Greenwood, ITV have made a terrible mistake letting that guy have a microphone he opitomises why other nations find it hard to support England when it comes to sport, throughout the entire SA v Arg game all he talked about was England,im watching on Setanta in future which may help to change my view again but until then come the Bokke

  • 144.
  • At 09:52 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

I'm a Scot and do not consider myself anti-English, but if things so far are anything to go by, I'll find it hard to support England. This is not because of borders or historical rivalry; it's because I think the way England play rugby is incredibly dull. I don't dispute that the English pack is hugely powerful or technically astute, but I don't find it entertaining. I think the success of that style of rugby represents a real setback for those who enjoy watching free-flowing and fast rugby and the sooner the laws are changed to prevent the dominance of power over skill, the better. I think Scotland, with its more limited player base, were guilty of trying to play in a similar fashion against both Italy and Argentina and I found both of these games very dull too, to the extent that I couldn't really get excited about the prospect of a Scottish victory. If, however, England play a more expansive and entertaining game, then I will not begrudge them a victory.

  • 145.
  • At 09:53 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Come on!

We are in the WC final, again, you have never been there, if you were though, (and this is to scots, irish and welsh) england would support you!! what links do you have to SA that are closer than your links to england? this is not a time to think about inequality or 'braveheart sentiment' I as an englishman brought up in scotland, would support the french against the southern hemispheire. get over whatever resntment you are stuck in and support the locals!!! 98% of enlish would support you!

  • 146.
  • At 09:54 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Peet wrote:

the aggro in rugby that england and its supporters get is unbearable at times, altohugh looking at it from a historical perspective it makes sense. nearly every rugby nation is an ex-colony (or still is, appologies to welsh and scotch readers, i am not purposely digging at you, it may not be politically correct, but it is fact) once subject to the government in london. i have experienced both indirectly and directly hatred for simply being english, and i think as a nation we put up with a lot of stick from all quarters, much of which is unjustified. we even have little pride in ourselves as a nation and anyone whos actually lived there will know how quick the english will put down themeselves. its quite sad and makes me sad for a nation that has previously achieved so much. i am no blind patriot but a little more pride in general would benefit us and everyone in general. pride such as the scots and welsh (to name a few) have for all the many good things about their countries.

the one (excellent) vent for patriotic feelings is sport. i personally have been begrudged in supporting scotland (in particular) in the past due to the uneccessary abuse i get from the many scotch i know and have known, and their hatred of english things, particulalry at sport). my heart tells me to support any english (except chelsea the cheats, he he), then british then NH team, and i do just that, bar the above feeling. it is clearly a two way street and many comments here by english fans do not help.

the artcile is correct. for feck's sake get behind teams from the same islands and hemisphere, save our rivalry (mostly good natured) for the 6 nations. ultimately the number of french supporting england in the final will make no difference on the score but it would be nice if we pulled together.

  • 147.
  • At 09:55 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Come on!

We are in the WC final, again, you have never been there, if you were though, (and this is to scots, irish and welsh) england would support you!! what links do you have to SA that are closer than your links to england? this is not a time to think about inequality or 'braveheart sentiment' I as an englishman brought up in scotland, would support the french against the southern hemispheire. get over whatever resntment you are stuck in and support the locals!!! 98% of enlish would support you!

  • 148.
  • At 09:55 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Come on!

We are in the WC final, again, you have never been there, if you were though, (and this is to scots, irish and welsh) england would support you!! what links do you have to SA that are closer than your links to england? this is not a time to think about inequality or 'braveheart sentiment' I as an englishman brought up in scotland, would support the french against the southern hemispheire. get over whatever resntment you are stuck in and support the locals!!! 98% of enlish would support you!

  • 149.
  • At 09:59 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • chris wrote:

As an Englishman i have always supported the northen hemisphere teams against the southern hemisphere . But i would not exspect the Scots,Welsh or Irish to ever support us and to be honest i could not care less .

  • 150.
  • At 10:02 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

As a Scotsman I can wholeheartedly say C'MON MY ENGLISH COUSINS!!!

All my friends are secretly supporting England but I see no reason to be secretive about it.

Their team are passionate, brave, modest, ruthless warriors, something we Celts should recognise as features we used to show on the battlefield/rugby field!

Coupled with this I have to say their supporters(I watched the semi in Newcastle with some English friends) have rather annoyingly given me nothing to moan about- modest and almost embarrased, also had nothing but kind words to boost this Scots moral.

Rarely do you come accross such modest, pleasant, humourous fellas as Vickery, Robinson, Wilkinson, Shaw Gomersall etc

There is nothing to dislike so stop imagining there is, I and my friends will be behind you English as I know you would be behind us.

Please ignore those Scots who unfortunately feel so insecure about themeselves that they cant see their backwardness.

  • 151.
  • At 10:02 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

I agree with you all the way. Having grown up in Paris, I couldn't help but notice how similar I was to my friends over the Channel. I eventually moved to England, and settled in with great ease. Overall, the Six Nations should support England on their march to victory. Heck, the whole Northen Hemisphere should support England retain the title they so rightly deserve. This weekend I shall be painting my face, my sister's face and my dog's face with the Saint George's Cross, and shouting for Johnny as he kicks for his umpteenth drop-goal.

  • 152.
  • At 10:02 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • chris wrote:

As an Englishman i have always supported the northen hemisphere teams against the southern hemisphere . But i would not exspect the Scots,Welsh or Irish to ever support us and to be honest i could not care less .

  • 153.
  • At 10:10 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • JDL wrote:

I remember a few years ago being at an England - Ireland game at Twickenham. This was in the days when games were played simultaneously, and when our game ended they put up on the large screen the last 5 or 10 minutes of the Scotland - France game that was running a bit later. And I'll never forget Twickers ringing with everyone cheering "Scotland! Scotland!" because we English would generally support the British team against the Froggies!

John is right, as an Argentinian I will support England and Wilko, no question ask, South Africa had played with cheep shots, yellow card ect,and I rather put with the Bad singing of England that the Elitist tri nation South africans.

  • 155.
  • At 10:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • sorcha wrote:

i cant speak for wales and scotland fans but i feel there's a few blogs here that are disrespectful to the irish fans- slagging us off and saying we're england haters. have you people read most of the blogs from me, and lots of other irish fans who are supporting england and are supporting the nh team whoever it is! before accusing us all of being england haters, read through alot of these blogs- loads of irish are supporting england.. the irish and the english relationship is now better than ever esp in the rugby- remember dublin for the ireland england game in this 6n? the fans mingled , had lots of laughs and painted the town mostly green as ireland did win) but there was loads of mutual respect and friendliness so for some english fans here to be accusing most irish of anti englishness is very unfair and actually unjust. however the itv commentary is a joke and is totally centred around the english team- i thought brian morre was bad. setanta, though it has its critics, has been totally impartial regarding how badly ireland plahyed and werent afraid to say it. one of their reporters ( a woman) actually had the guts to say to eos after the namibian game, why were ireland so crap. would you actually get the itv crowd doing that- no because they're totally licking arse!

  • 156.
  • At 10:23 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • John wrote:

I have thought carefully about what to write here having read through all the comments.

I ought to admit to being English but frankly I as we all are on our Islands am a speckled person.

I have to say I find many of these comments very disappointing.
I had thought that our Celtic neighbours had moved on from seeing us as some form of enemy. I know for a fact that you love holidaying in our country and you cant deny that we are equally as friendlyand welcoming as you all are.

Unfortunately the anti-comments simply give us a moral high ground and make us grateful for not having hatred in our hearts as MANY of you seem to have.

It must be almost exhausting for those of you who follow this course to find reason to hate the English, the English rugby team have been more modest and gentlemanly than any sportsteam I can remember and their fans have been the model of good humour as well.

Good luck to Wales, Scotland and Ireland in your rebuilding, I can speak for most English by saying we too were disappointed when you were knocked out as you represent our islands as we do.

We wish our extended family all the best for the coming together of distant cousins in the battle for the Triple Crown in the Six Nations!

  • 157.
  • At 10:40 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ed the ashamed aussie wrote:

Its really quite funny reading these comments.
As an Aussie I know what it is like to have small minded, jelous neighbours.

I cant believe these Scots, Welsh and Irish folk can even write these bizarre words!

You are living in dreamland- the English team are a group of men that you cannot help but admire and respect.
I spent years trying to dislike the English but I've given up it takes too much effort and there is nothing to dislike.
If anything, due to the constant bashing we all give them they have become even less arrogant, bigoted and obnoxious than the rest of us. I should know I go and watch all the Twickenham matches.

Their style of play is furious, brave, full of passion and pride and we all admire that- give it a rest the chips on shoulders brigade!

(ps Carter kicks 48% of posession Wilkinson 40%- wake up!))

  • 158.
  • At 10:56 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ed the ashamed aussie wrote:

Its really quite funny reading these comments.
As an Aussie I know what it is like to have small minded, jelous neighbours.

I cant believe these Scots, Welsh and Irish folk can even write these bizarre words!

You are living in dreamland- the English team are a group of men that you cannot help but admire and respect.
I spent years trying to dislike the English but I've given up it takes too much effort and there is nothing to dislike.
If anything, due to the constant bashing we all give them they have become even less arrogant, bigoted and obnoxious than the rest of us. I should know I go and watch all the Twickenham matches.

Their style of play is furious, brave, full of passion and pride and we all admire that- give it a rest the chips on shoulders brigade!

(ps Carter kicks 48% of posession Wilkinson 40%- wake up!))

  • 159.
  • At 10:57 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • phildog wrote:

John

Please be serious.

Why would anyone want any nation other than their own to win aything. I am Irish living in Scotland and I was hoping the Jocks would be kicked out by Italy. Could not cope with the "we got further than you" banter. But that is the point, in Union, you cheer for whatever side then you sit down after the game, argue about the referee and then shake hands. That is why it is such a great sport.

Calm down England fans - we can never support you - there is too much hstory. Accept the fun. Celts - calm down - it is not war, but when it is war, we will be standing beside our English cousins.

I am odd. I wanted Wales to beat Australia, but wanted Fiji to beat Wales. I wanted Japan and Canada to beat Fiji. I wanted France to beat NZ, but wanted NZ to score a ton against the Jocks. It is part of the game - pick a team and hope they win.

  • 160.
  • At 11:11 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Chris Booth wrote:

Personally I couldn't give a tinker's cuss who the other 5 nations support. We can fly the flag for the Northern hemisphere quite nicely on our own thank you very much, without the help of Celt bar stewards and others!
Come on England. ;)
Oh, and if we win or lose, I'll wear my England rugby shirt with pride, especially as I am lucky enough to be going around Oz next month.

  • 161.
  • At 11:15 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Bushy, post #132

The difference between England and Britain. By that do you mean that most people differentiate the English are, in general, a lot more tolerant and considerate of others, while a highly vocal element of the non-English Brits are petty minded bigots? [That seems to be the difference suggested by this thread]. :)

No one is demanding you support England. But the thread author has the right to ask you to and state his reasons. Up to you what you do, but I would rather not have the support of people who think like you, whether their birth certificate says they were born. Fans of rugby, or people who respect their own countries and hence others I welcome.

I would also be glad if England used its own anthem but unfortunately we have subsumed our own identity into Britain for too long. Hopefully it would come as it would allow a more uplifting song. [Also as an atheist I'm never happy calling on a deity I don't believe in].

Judging by the comments on the thread I'm far from sure your right in your assumptions that other Celts are as narrow minded and hate filled as you. Or that the bulk of the rugby world will actually be supporting the Boks on Saturday. :)

Stevep

  • 162.
  • At 11:17 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • south briton wrote:

i have a welsh mother and english father god bless em!and with scots and irish grandparents,and having lived in all parts of the british isles,i always support the home nations but sadly in recent years the racist comments from some quarters in scotland and particularly wales means i regretably dont care what those so called celts think(most of them are unaware who the real celts were and that they are probably non other than anglo saxons!)
iwas in a french restaurant in cardiff last week and exchanged friendly and sporting best wishes with our french host,until a mature welsh woman spewed out her anti english bile which shocked all customers ,and she insisted she spoke for all welsh rugby supporters

so rise above it and good luck england,and better luck next time to ireland and scotland,and congrats to the french for staging a superb tournament

as for the aussies apart from o neill,just great losers gracious in defeat

  • 163.
  • At 11:26 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Stig wrote:

For what its worth, as an England supporter, I would support any other 6N team against the Boks if they were in our position Saturday. And with gusto I might add. What’s the problem with that?

As an only occasional visitor to these boards, I am amazed (and sometimes ashamed) of the puerile bigotry and petty racism so often displayed. Get a grip, it’s a game of rugby for god’s sake..

  • 164.
  • At 11:26 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • botchan 80 wrote:

agree with the irish fellas above, most of the irish supporters i think will cheer on england, and rightly so. they`ve showed guts and determination and have treated every opponent with the utmost respect. the sporting behaviour of the english in the semi, commiserating with the french after the match (rather than running around and jumping on each other like dimwits) was real class. and if there is a player who deserves another medal, its wilkinson. the last time i posted on BBC was to say that wilkinson was better than carter cos he could handle the pressure and would pull you out of a tight spot. where are all the kiwis who said carter was the greatest and didnt need to kick drop goals etc.? would love to hear from you! good luck england!

  • 165.
  • At 11:30 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Guys

The most commonly quoted reason given for calling the English arrogant seems to be nothing to do with the team or supporters but rather with the behaviour of the media. Is that really realistic? Nothing to do with us what a bunch of largely foreign owned organisations decide to do. Don't know of anyone who takes the British media that seriously! Especially since they are commercial bodies. England makes up 80-90% of the population of Britain and after the quarter finals they are also the only game in town for Britain so to speak. As such you will not get equal time between the 4 nations. Also its by no means all one way. I could mention gross distortions of output that are anti-English, not least by the body we're using here - which might mean this post gets censored?

On Greenwood's comments, he may well have been OTT. To be honest I was watching the 2nd semi-final while reading those blogs and after the match ceased to be really interesting, i.e. the Boks pulled away enough that it was decided I was only playing partial attention. As such didn't ply any real attention to what the commentators were saying at any point. If he was saying exactly what has been said, rather than possibly slightly different words with significantly different meaning that he has proved himself a right cretin. However would many Scots or Welsh really want themselves judged by the statements of some of their countrymen? Obviously not by the comments of others on this thread.

Stevep

  • 166.
  • At 11:37 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Peter Brooks wrote:

Post 132

God Save the queen was introduced to inspire the english troops as they marched North to fight the Scottish, it is most definitely ours.

Currently England and Scotland are partners in the Union, Wales is not as it is part of the uk by conquest not treaty.

That said more enlgish taxes go across the borders to scotland and wales than we get in return from oil revenues, we support you finacially pay for your uni fees while ours rise and we're still hated for it.

I support all home nations when they are not playing england and am flattered when they support us, Wales and Scotland it is polite. I hold any Irishman with great esteem in lack of bigotry if he supports England cos there is Really bad blood there. Which is far more recent than anywhere else and for the time vastly more disgusting.

There are three ways to play rugby forward power with a kicker, flowing backs or both, the third is ideal and the best rugby, the second is very pretty but prone to falling apart and the first while not the prettiest is more successful than the second. England invented rugby so don't lecture us on the way it's supposed to be played (which is the third way which no-one this wc has played).

I love the way the Welsh crowing and celebrating after 2005 (which went on till the next 6 nations) was being patriotic but england even mentioning a world cup win is arrogant and over the top.

Every england fan I've met has genrally said that its possible for us to win (before any of the knockouts) but genrally sadi that our oponents were prob going to win.

Most of the non-england fans here say that exciting is loads of tries being pushed past their oponents, its not its a close match that goes right to the end, teams so closely matched that every point matters not teams just running (anyone can run the skill even in the running game lies elsewhere) back and forth, i can get that from athletics.

  • 167.
  • At 11:44 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Notatallbitter wrote:

Having visited a few rugby grounds over the years and always received a warm welcome -before and after the game. This years visit to Twickenham, as a Scot, was an unpleasant experience (not just the result either). The England fans seem to have adopted the rather moronic football fan attitudes as have their commentators.

The girls were very nice afterwards but they seem to like kilts !!!

  • 168.
  • At 12:01 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Peter Brooks wrote:

Post 132

God Save the queen was introduced to inspire the english troops as they marched North to fight the Scottish, it is most definitely ours.

Currently England and Scotland are partners in the Union, Wales is not as it is part of the uk by conquest not treaty.

That said more enlgish taxes go across the borders to scotland and wales than we get in return from oil revenues, we support you finacially pay for your uni fees while ours rise and we're still hated for it.

I support all home nations when they are not playing england and am flattered when they support us, Wales and Scotland it is polite. I hold any Irishman with great esteem in lack of bigotry if he supports England cos there is Really bad blood there. Which is far more recent than anywhere else and for the time vastly more disgusting.

There are three ways to play rugby forward power with a kicker, flowing backs or both, the third is ideal and the best rugby, the second is very pretty but prone to falling apart and the first while not the prettiest is more successful than the second. England invented rugby so don't lecture us on the way it's supposed to be played (which is the third way which no-one this wc has played).

I love the way the Welsh crowing and celebrating after 2005 (which went on till the next 6 nations) was being patriotic but england even mentioning a world cup win is arrogant and over the top.

Every england fan I've met has genrally said that its possible for us to win (before any of the knockouts) but genrally sadi that our oponents were prob going to win.

Most of the non-england fans here say that exciting is loads of tries being pushed past their oponents, its not its a close match that goes right to the end, teams so closely matched that every point matters not teams just running (anyone can run the skill even in the running game lies elsewhere) back and forth, i can get that from athletics.

  • 169.
  • At 12:02 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • numbnuts wrote:

Speaking as a proud pom, if it was Wales, Ireland, Scotland or France in the final against the Boks or whoever, I'd always support one of the home nations teams. Imagine wanting to support NZ or SA or even Australia - no thanks "chap". Same with Scotland doing well in the footie at the moment - fantastic & who'd want France to beat Scotland at footie? Just don't get you guys preferring to support the SH teams, with all of their sporting arrogance - very strange?! Wish that Wales would sort themselves out as they probably play the most entertaining rugby of all when they play well..(remember Wales NZ at the last WC - fantastic)! C'mon England Saturday - Billie the Whizzz to cut them to ribbons & SA to lose the plot, the turnover, the scrum and the deefence!!

  • 170.
  • At 12:08 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • The English brit wrote:

Real rugby fans will just enjoy. I will cheer on any home nation doing well, including France and Italy. (unless they are playing England) Personaly I dont mind who supports who. Healthy competition only makes victories seem more sweet. C'mon England!

  • 171.
  • At 12:17 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • F Twomey wrote:

Will Greenwood is a puerile one-eyed imbecile. Anyone but engerlund for me as a direct result

  • 172.
  • At 12:21 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

I agree completely! I am English, but I always support the Welsh, Scottish, Irish...even the French (at times).

Ok, there are historical differences, and the English can be...snooty? But I like them all, and find it odd when some Scots or Welsh (for example) deliberatly support anyone who is in opposition to England just out of....spite? jealosy? I don't know what.

Don't be bitter, return the favour!

  • 173.
  • At 12:33 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • John wrote:

I have lived in Wales for 22 years now, barring one year, and have experienced the whole range of opinions. Basically it's mixed, a guy at work today said that "if there was a real war, the English are the people who would be standing next to us". Another guy, a large ex-coppa from Wales said " I wish I came from a country that actually might win something". The reality is that there is very litle real chance of anyone from this island being pure anything. I am born English with a Scottish name and a Belfast grandfather,and I am living in Wales. I really appreciate the way some Welsh people cheer us on, but I also understand that having a large and sometimes arrogant dominant neighbour must be a real pain in the rear.
I have met some real hostility and it is fair to say it is nasty and small minded, but I have met this on both sides.
I stood in a packed French bar last Saturday in my England shirt and as the French fans filed out past me, several French people shook my hand with real emotion, humility and courage and said "Well done", that is what sport is and should be about, good banter and then mutual respect. As a football fan I was moved.

  • 174.
  • At 12:36 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • John wrote:

I have lived in Wales for 22 years now, barring one year, and have experienced the whole range of opinions. Basically it's mixed, a guy at work today said that "if there was a real war, the English are the people who would be standing next to us". Another guy, a large ex-coppa from Wales said " I wish I came from a country that actually might win something". The reality is that there is very litle real chance of anyone from this island being pure anything. I am born English with a Scottish name and a Belfast grandfather,and I am living in Wales. I really appreciate the way some Welsh people cheer us on, but I also understand that having a large and sometimes arrogant dominant neighbour must be a real pain in the rear.
I have met some real hostility and it is fair to say it is nasty and small minded, but I have met this on both sides.
I stood in a packed French bar last Saturday in my England shirt and as the French fans filed out past me, several French people shook my hand with real emotion, humility and courage and said "Well done", that is what sport is and should be about, good banter and then mutual respect. As a football fan I was moved.

  • 175.
  • At 12:36 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

You Celts couldn't give two hoots how the Boks play their rugby on Saturday as long as they're up at the 80 minute mark.

Well the same goes for every Englishman from Carlisle to Dover, and everywhere in between...and beyond for that matter!

Bloody mindedness and shear grit has got us this far.
If we're to win, we're to win ugly. The best type of rugby is winning rugby.
Something the rest you haven't been able to grasp in recent history, and that's probably why the only Northern Hemisphere name on the Webb Ellis trophy is ENGLAND!!!!!!!

  • 176.
  • At 12:37 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Connal wrote:

125 - perhaps sit down and have a glass of water. Taking it all a wee bit too seriously.

It's great in your own bland little way you pretend to misunderstand the virtues of playing offensively. It is simply a truism to say that forwrds provide ball to attacking backs (a small child who watches any game would work that out). That is obviously not the same as choking a game and squeezing the life out of it, making the game forward-DOMINATED - the extent of attacking being to force mistakes. Not sure you know the meaning of bilious either, but the cap fits nicely.

  • 177.
  • At 12:41 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Connal wrote:

125 - perhaps sit down and have a glass of water. Taking it all a wee bit too seriously.

It's great in your own bland little way you pretend to misunderstand the virtues of playing offensively. It is simply a truism to say that forwrds provide ball to attacking backs (a small child who watches any game would work that out). That is obviously not the same as choking a game and squeezing the life out of it, making the game forward-DOMINATED - the extent of attacking being to force mistakes. Not sure you know the meaning of bilious either, but the cap fits nicely.

  • 178.
  • At 12:45 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

You Celts couldn't really give two hoots about what Greenwood or any other of those berks at the broadcasters say, moreover you also couldn't care less how the Boks play their rugby on Saturday as long as they're up at the 80 minute mark.

That's all fine, it's the way it's been ever since I can remember so stop making excuses for it. You don't like us, end of.

Personally I couldn't care less.
The same goes for every Englishman from Carlisle to Dover, and everywhere between...and beyond for that matter!

Bloody mindedness and shear grit has got us this far.
If we're to win, we're to win ugly. The best type of rugby is always winning rugby.
Something the rest you haven't been able to grasp in recent history, and that's probably why the only Northern Hemisphere name on the Webb Ellis trophy is ours.

  • 179.
  • At 12:46 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Connal wrote:

125 - perhaps sit down and have a glass of water. Taking it all a wee bit too seriously.

It's great in your own bland little way you pretend to misunderstand the virtues of playing offensively. It is simply a truism to say that forwrds provide ball to attacking backs (a small child who watches any game would work that out). That is obviously not the same as choking a game and squeezing the life out of it, making the game forward-DOMINATED - the extent of attacking being to force mistakes. Not sure you know the meaning of bilious either, but the cap fits nicely.

  • 180.
  • At 12:49 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • liam meighan wrote:

I have one reason why I hope England lose on Saturday. Half of the team will retire after the game, and if they win, Ireland will play in Twickenham in the Six Nations, and like 2004 be the first to beat the World Champions, and we will think all is right with Irish rugby and the IRFU will think they made a great decision in keeping O'Sullivan. If you do win please don't take 3 years and 335 days to find a good team.

  • 181.
  • At 12:54 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

You Celts couldn't really give two hoots about what Greenwood or any other of those berks at the broadcasters say, moreover you also couldn't care less how the Boks play their rugby on Saturday as long as they're up at the 80 minute mark.

That's all fine, it's the way it's been ever since I can remember so stop making excuses for it. You don't like us, end of.

Personally I couldn't care less.
The same goes for every Englishman from Carlisle to Dover, and everywhere between...and beyond for that matter!

Bloody mindedness and shear grit has got us this far.
If we're to win, we're to win ugly. The best type of rugby is always winning rugby.
Something the rest you haven't seemed to be able to grasp in recent history, and that's probably why the only Northern Hemisphere name on the Webb Ellis trophy is ours.

  • 182.
  • At 12:57 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Connal wrote:

125 - perhaps sit down and have a glass of water. Taking it all a wee bit too seriously. A guy on here was on the money when he said the fun's in supporting who you wish, against who you wish. But it's great in your own bland little way you pretend to misunderstand the virtues of playing offensively. It is simply a truism to say that forwrds provide ball to attacking backs (a small child who watches any game would work that out). That is obviously not the same as choking a game and squeezing the life out of it, making the game forward-DOMINATED - the extent of attacking being to force mistakes. Not sure you know the meaning of bilious either, but the cap fits nicely.

  • 183.
  • At 12:59 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

You Celts couldn't really give two hoots about what Greenwood or any other of those berks at the broadcasters say, moreover you also couldn't care less how the Boks play their rugby on Saturday as long as they're up at the 80 minute mark.

That's all fine, it's the way it's been ever since I can remember so stop making excuses for it. You don't like us, end of.

Personally I couldn't care less.
The same goes for every Englishman from Carlisle to Dover, and everywhere between...and beyond for that matter!

Bloody mindedness and shear grit has got us this far.
If we're to win, we're to win ugly. The best type of rugby is always winning rugby.
Something the rest you haven't seemed to be able to grasp in recent history, and that's probably why the only Northern Hemisphere name on the Webb Ellis trophy is ours.

  • 184.
  • At 01:17 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • fatbloke wrote:

do you think any of these muppets were rooting for us in '03 still it's nice to be there again.

  • 185.
  • At 01:21 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

124 - might be a plan to sit down and have a drink of water. Taking this all a little too seriously. A guy on here was on the money when he said traducing or praising a side is all the fun of it - that is in fact the very nature of 'support'.
'If you do not anything constructive to say say nowt.' You're a good advert for an education, perhaps. To learn grammar and good English. Not sure you know what bilious means either, but the cap fits nicely - the dunce cap.
It's great in that bland way of yours to pretend to misundertand the nature of attack minded rugby. It's simply a truism to suggest forwards provide all the ball for attack-minded backs; a small child who watched a game would notice that (so well done for picking that up). It is quite another to make a match forward-DOMNATED, suffocating play, being conservative and forcing errors. Hope that clears a few things up.

  • 186.
  • At 01:27 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • stop england rugby degré zéro wrote:

no way! as an french reading english press i will be back south africa.bile, hate, vitriol comments and anti-french sentiment,"french bashing", i'm not going to be singing "swing low" for all money in the world.And honnestly if france were in the final i don't think that english support them.
this is not about NH versus SH, it's too about rugby.I want to see a great game and for that go boks! In 2003 i supported england because it was a real and talented team but today...
England created rugby and now kill rugby

  • 187.
  • At 01:29 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • stop england rugby degré zéro wrote:

no way! as an french reading english press i will be back south africa.bile, hate, vitriol comments and anti-french sentiment,"french bashing", i'm not going to be singing "swing low" for all money in the world.And honnestly if france were in the final i don't think that english support them.
this is not about NH versus SH, it's too about rugby.I want to see a great game and for that go boks! In 2003 i supported england because it was a real and talented team but today...
England created rugby and now kill rugby

  • 188.
  • At 01:31 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • stop england rugby degré zéro wrote:

no way! as an french reading english press i will be back south africa.bile, hate, vitriol comments and anti-french sentiment,"french bashing", i'm not going to be singing "swing low" for all money in the world.And honnestly if france were in the final i don't think that english support them.
this is not about NH versus SH, it's too about rugby.I want to see a great game and for that go boks! In 2003 i supported england because it was a real and talented team but today...
England created rugby and now kill rugby

  • 189.
  • At 01:48 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Jimmy wrote:

There are a number of Welsh, Scottish & Irish people here wanting South Africa to win on Saturday and that disturbs me slightly. As hopefully all of you will know England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland come together once every four years to take on one of the Southern Hemispheres tri-nations sides as The Lions. Now it just so happens that the next Lions tour is to South Africa in 2009, so I ask you this. Would you support South Africa then if The Lions team was all english? I think not. I believe we would support them whatever the composition of the side was. I do not expect everyone from Scotland, Wales and Ireland to support England this Saturday, and nor should I. All I ask is for those concerned to honestly think about wanting to cheer on South Africa. In my view it would be totally hypocritical as we are travelling there together in 2009.

  • 190.
  • At 01:48 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • coq wrote:

as an french reading english press i will be back south africa.bile, hate, vitriol comments and anti-french sentiment,"french bashing", i'm not going to be singing "swing low" for all money in the world.And honnestly if france were in the final i don't think that english support them.
this is not about NH versus SH, it's too about rugby.I want to see a great game and for that go boks! In 2003 i supported england because it was a real and talented team but today...
England created rugby and now kill rugby

  • 191.
  • At 01:52 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • coq breton wrote:

no way! as an french reading english press i will be back south africa.bile, hate, vitriol comments and anti-french sentiment,"french bashing", i'm not going to be singing "swing low" for all money in the world.And honnestly if france were in the final i don't think that english support them.
this is not about NH versus SH, it's too about rugby.I want to see a great game and for that go boks! In 2003 i supported england because it was a real and talented team but today...
England created rugby and now kill rugby

  • 192.
  • At 02:05 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • colin wrote:

im so glad to hear most of our fellow islanders will not be behind us when we tackle the boks.

i for one stopped supporting the other nations along time ago.as a kid i remember watching the football world cup 1978 i was100% behind the scots.

only for some years later watching tv coverage from another world cup .of a bar somewhwere in scotland and the joy on they faces as england lost

i could not belive how happy there all where.so come on england win or lose we have been world champs some thing the other home nations will never do

  • 193.
  • At 02:06 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Connal wrote:

124 - Might be a plan to sit down and have a drink of water. Taking this all a little too seriously. A guy on here was on the money when he said traducing or deciding not to support a sporting side is all the fun of it - that is in fact the very nature of 'support'.
'If you do not anything constructive to say say nowt.' You're a good advert for an education, perhaps, to learn grammar and good English. Not sure you know what bilious means either, but the cap fits nicely - the dunce cap. Some have pointed out the public-schoolboy aspect to the English side, though this education was clearly denied to some of their supporters.
It's great in that bland way of yours to pretend to misunderstand the nature of attack-minded rugby. It's simply a truism to point out forwards provide all the ball for attacking backs; a small child who watched a game would notice that (so well done for picking that up). It is quite another thing to make a match forward-DOMINATED, suffocating play, being conservative and forcing errors. Here’s to hoping the Boks do justice to themselves and the tournament.

  • 194.
  • At 02:09 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ray wrote:

#6 - And that is why I hate you Scots. Going out and buying a Springbok shirt to cheer on a nation that is outside the Goverment that pays your dole money and a United Kingdom that gives you free medical care. You make me sick!

  • 195.
  • At 02:53 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

I am English, and growing up I felt that all the hate directed towards England was unfair - I would be happy for Scotland, Wales or Ireland to win in fottball or rugby, as long as they weren't playing England.

No doubt it in part comes from bigger neighbour - smaller neighbour dynamcis, which is understandable. I have always thought a sporting grudge is fine, but too often it runs deeper than that into serious chip on the shoulder territory.

Unfortunately, we can now see the same crap being dished by English fans back to the celtic fringe, as this blog shows. And hate is ugly wherever it comes from. That's why it's great to read some celtic fans supporting England, and I hope some English fans will drop their crap about the empire, we're the best country in the world, etc.

Support who you like, but leave your hate at the door, with your coat and hat. It'll make you all a lot happier.

Oh God, isn't this what we were all fearing when blogs started taking over from proper journalism? The demotion of the previously excellent Ben Dirs was bad enough, but this tripe?

Rugby has long sported a friendly Northern Hemisphere vs. Southern Hemisphere rivalry. Six Nations supporters by and large want their team's representatitive to win and the Tri-Nations supporters want theirs to win. True there are a few sad souls who can't accept that, but it has been a great four years having the world champions in the 6N, and we Welsh supporters cheered England's and France's victories last weekend to the rafters. Those of us old enough to remember just why Swing Low was sung on the Twickenham terraces in 1988 will refrain from joining in, but the team aren't responsible for the actions of the racist prawn sandwich brigade, and they deserve our support.

  • 197.
  • At 04:07 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • dave wrote:

I'm worried,to beat the boks we need to change our game plan,guts,grit and belief are not enough the boks have brutally punished any mistakes in previous rounds and seem strong in all areas.My ingeniously cunning plan would be to give them a taste of what they have previosly dished out to us.Give the ball to jonny at all opportunities and let him drop goal us to glory,if he misses we get the ball back at the 25 yard dropout anyway ,keep it in their half in theory then give jonny another go ad infinitum......cry God for Jonny,England and St George!we could start celebrating at half time.

What planet are you on Peter Brooks?

For God's sake read a book. What was the 1536 Act of Union if not a treaty? And Wales assimilated into the Union by conquest? It was a Welsh king who killed the English Richard of York and started the Tudor Dynasty that gave you the Act of Union in the first place!

Have the English really not yet forgiven Wales for that defeat? I grant you Henry VIII turned out a bit dodgy in the end, but Elizabeth was alright wasn't she? Anyone who looks like Cate Blanchett can't be all bad, surely!

  • 199.
  • At 06:34 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

I like the points made and have read nearly all of them. We have all seen everyone wanting England to lose and that colours the English response. All English gloated over the last world cup win, loads had never played or watched Rugby. Was it over the top? What would you have been like if it had been your country? It had been a while for some sporting excellence in team sports ( especially football) so I can understand that.
We should all hope for Northern hemisphere respectability, but the S. Affricans are playing great rugby and are better to watch. I want England to win as I am English, I don't expect it, we are not the world's best, this time, but really would like us to put some real pride back against the Boks

  • 200.
  • At 07:27 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Kate wrote:

It's great to have a bit of friendly rivalry come the head-on matches in the Six Nations, but this campaign against the English is just petty and childish. I'm 17 and have always full-heartedly cheered on Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France against the Southern Hemisphere - whatever the match or tournament - but have long learnt not to expect anything nearly so reasonable or mature from our British neighbours. If you hold on to your past wrongs simply for something to moan about, then you have no right to criticise us when some fans shove it right back in your faces. Grow up, and check where most of your government's money comes from . . .

xXx

  • 201.
  • At 07:37 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • craig wrote:

It's almost tribal. I live in France and tend to support most against the French in the 6N! It's more from fear and respect, hoping if France slip up, England can benefit. I certainly would support Scotland, Wales and Ireland if they were still in the competition. England is a more feared team which is a sign of respect but at the same time, the press in situations like the WC final can go absolutely OTT and push all the neutrals in the opposite camp.

I agree with the comments claiming for smaller sides, it's only natural for neutrals to side with the underdogs.

However, I can't understand this deep national rivalry but you can draw a similar analogy with European football at a city level. Man U fans won't cheer on Arsenal or Liverpool and vice versa even against Milan. The French find this bizarre! When Lyon play, all the French support them.

No matter what, everything has come together at the right time for England and we do look good. Even without the backing of fellow 6N fans, we've every chance to go on to win thus retain the World Cup!

C'MON ENGLAND! GO AND MAKE HISTORY!

  • 202.
  • At 07:58 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Teddy wrote:

I'm Irish and I supported England against Australia to support Six nations rugby, which at the time was getting a worldwide serve but supported France over England as they play better rugby (usually) and guess for the final I'm sort of neutral. Not traditionally a fan of either of these rugby nations, don't think England winning it would be the best advertisement for rugby (most of you admit yourselves it's ugly stuff) and think the Boks play hard but usually with some verve and excitement with the likes of Habana and Peterson... so guess I'm leaning towards the Boks.

I think the Irish-Scottish-Welsh-attitude to English sports teams (hoping you'll lose) is obvious -- I can only speak for the irish but our historical relationship is naturally complicated.

I like the comedian Tommy Tiernan's line that after 800 years of oppression and being shat on by the English, "what did the we do? We did what no one would have expected ... we went over there looking for work!"

We didn't want it but we needed England albeit grudgingly. This made sporting victories all the sweeter. This attitude still exists. In some more vehemently than in others. A lot of English have coarse opinions about Germans and Argentinians. So sadly do many Irish have overbearing hatred for the "auld enemy".

I live overseas and often watch the games with six or so English pals. When Ireland-Scotland or Wales beat England I smile and they always moan that they'd support Ireland -- they've even tried to make support pacts with me -- but you can't help it. Sport brings out our gut feelings, old sentiments. Logically you can tell me a host of reasons why we should all stick up for each other in the modern era and I might even agree, until kick off that is.

Anyway, if I were English, I wouldn't care that no one supported you. Will make it all the sweeter when you win.

Sorry, I mean, if you win.

From a rugby perspective, let's hope for the first great game of attacking play in the knockout stages. I'll settle for 9 or 10 evenly spread tries.

  • 203.
  • At 08:20 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • David de Jong wrote:

For all those wavering Celtic fans. If any of you had won the 2003 WC, do you really believe the team would have been awarded OBEs with a knighthood for the coach?

  • 204.
  • At 08:34 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Rich E wrote:

Your reasoning should lead me as a South African to support Robert Mugabe ... don't think so.

  • 205.
  • At 08:36 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Chris Howell wrote:

Jon Beattie just doesn't get it. Most non-English rugby fans want to see quality open running rugby and cheer on the sides that provide it. Despite their reputation for a forwards dominated approach, the Boks have shown fantastic finishing out wide in all their games this tournament.
None but a dyed-in-the-wool charioteer wants to watch eight fat blokes and a kicker proving yet again that low-risk, dull, unimaginative, stick-it-up-your-jumper rugby wins trophies.

  • 206.
  • At 08:54 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Peter Fowler wrote:

The team may deserve the nations support but sadly the press and the commentators do an extremely good job of turning the whole world against English sporting teams.
Any unbiased sports pundit which has again witnessed the nepatism that the English press displayed in recent games would have difficulty in saying the commentary was a true reflection of what happened in the game. The one sided commentary , the so called wonders and acts of heroism done by the English players were equally contributed by any of their opposition, often surpassing what England had done but hardly got a mention.
Sport is for everyone and by definition a true sports person see's the value in his opposition and treats it with respect. It is so painfully obvious that the English press and commentators are not true sportsmen in the proper sense.
Again this has a knock on effect in other sports ,the blinkered support the press give the english sides does contribute to the rest of the sporting worlds dislike of the English.
England have fine sportsmen and women ,it is the press and TV commentators that bring the scourge of the world down around the English.
It was recently stated that the whole World hate's the English, it should read the whole World hates the English sports media.
I am Welsh and hope the best side wins on Sunday.

  • 207.
  • At 09:01 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • David wrote:

"Will Greenwood is a puerile one-eyed imbecile. Anyone but engerlund for me as a direct result"

...and your comment shows how smart YOU are? Somehow I think not...

  • 208.
  • At 09:03 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

Jeez - the same old one-eyed, narrow-minded, jingoistic rubbish spouted from all sides here (and so much of it)!

England gloating about winning the World Cup? Maybe, but no different to the Kiwis, Aussies and Saffas...

Oh, and I wonder how gracious those in Red, Blue or Green would be in victory, if that ever happened?

Support England, don't support England. Support South Africa, don't support South Africa - it doesn't really matter.

After all there's two countries that don't really care about their global brand!

  • 209.
  • At 09:08 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Charlie wrote:

Will be watching in Switzerland, in a mountain bar, set at 1500m altitude (higher than Ben Nevis), run by an "Anglishman", and surrounded, no doubt, by bemused European late summer hill walkers, who will gawp at this barbarian and brutal sport that is shown on the big screen.

"eez zis ze x games?" they will ask...we will just smile.

I'll be drinking his overpriced Guinness, and will certainly get a seat in front of the big screen, since I'll be one of maybe a dozen supporters who hail from France Ireland (me), "Angland", Scotland and ...no actually doubtful there'll be any Welsh up there.

We will soak up the atmosphere by turning up the volume on the TV, and make quips to each other.

Then everyone will roar with laughter if England loose, BUT MORE importantly we will roar with joy if England win (because we live in hope the owner might reduce his guineess for the rest of the night).

Anyone in Nendaz, care to join...if you are, you know where to go...

  • 210.
  • At 09:12 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

Jeez - the same old one-eyed, narrow-minded, jingoistic rubbish spouted from all sides here (and so much of it)!

England gloating about winning the World Cup? Maybe, but no different to the Kiwis, Aussies and Saffas...

Oh, and I wonder how gracious those in Red, Blue or Green would be in victory, if that ever happened?

Support England, don't support England. Support South Africa, don't support South Africa - it doesn't really matter.

After all there's two countries that don't really care about their global brand!

  • 211.
  • At 09:28 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • ireland wrote:

look english fans- most of the irish fans i know are supporting england. those that arent are supporting sa because and only because sa have played pretty much better attacking rugby throughout the ehole tournament. it's nothing to do with old rivalries or colonial rule etc etc. there are some ppl here who are supporting sa because of an anti english bias but i assure you the majority of irish fans really arent of that persuasion. we have moved on as evidenced by the respect shown to god save the queen at croke park. be realistic and realise there will always be narrow minded idiots around. however there are equally plenty of narrown minded idiots from england on this blog who are going on and on about their superiority and no one really wants to see that. i am supporting england as i have admired their team spirit and their come back from near melt down throughout the andy robinson years. if england do win, celebrate it and enjoy it. just dont put all so called "celtic" fans in the same anti english boat as to be honest most really dont have a problem with england in rugby. i hope that when ireland play england at twickenham next 6 nations that there will be as much craic, fun and enjoyment after the game as there was in dublin whichever side loses. personally i have been to twickenham loads and i have met so many decent, rugby loving english fans and i have a great regard for them.long may that continue. o the other hand an english friend of mine got spat at in cardiff this wc for wearing an england jersey. that's just wrong.

  • 212.
  • At 09:45 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Steve P wrote:

To all those Celts fans out there who will be supporting the Boks - thank you! Unlike many of the English who can "do it alone without the support of the home nations," we appreciate your support.

I love it when I walk around town and see people wearing Bok jerseys. It will be so wonderful if we can win, just to listen to Mr Greenwood trying to explain how lucky we were and how our tries were not tries, and how the penalties weren't penalties and how Habana, Burger and anyone else with any talent managed to avoid the sin bin.

  • 213.
  • At 10:02 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • David wrote:

As a loyal A.B.E. supporter (anybody but England) I would have to decline your invitation John.

When I try to justify this I feel that the media must take much of the blame for this stance. Who outside England wants to listen to another four years of bloated English egos if they win? It's bad enough having to listen to the bias in the commentary on television during the Six Nations ( thanks to the EBC - sorry BBC) but when you can't watch a match with the Argentineans against South Africa without constant references to Johnny Wilkinson and Jason Robinson it really grates on the nerves.

So I'm afraid I'll be backing the Springboks and hoping that England will take the defeat quietly.

  • 214.
  • At 10:06 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • juanswan wrote:

As a SouthAmerican-Irishman I sort of understand you, whilst I thoroughly enjoy watching Wales/Scotland or Ireland thumping England I did barrack for 'them' against the whingeing Aussies and the French. But that is that. Unless England actualy play rugby, create something magical, run in a try from midfield or whatever, I shall be happy with the great-to-watch Rugby playing 'Boks. 'Cause that's what we're doing, watching rugby. The English Juggernaut is impressve but we've seen it twice now this RWC, the last RWC and in many 5/6 Nations gone, now, lets see if England can make the neutrals stand up and clap. I doubt it, come on rugby, come on 'Boks!

  • 215.
  • At 10:07 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • UsedToBeScruff wrote:

No. Never. Not a chance.

  • 216.
  • At 10:26 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ros wrote:

Nice idea but it'll never happen. People need the comfort of their unthinking hatreds. Although I'm a big sports fan, I can't help wondering, for the nth time, if sport doesn't in fact bring out the worst in people. Discouraging to read all the tired old arguments coming out. Depressing that people define themselves by who they hate. I notice so many people have referred to their hatred of the English being in their blood. Substitute the context (rugby) for a political one and you've got something very ugly indeed. Such a lot of mean spirited attitudes.

Come on England!

  • 217.
  • At 10:33 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • JB France wrote:


Having lived and worked in France for the past 25 years I can assure you that there is NO WAY that any French rugby supporter is going to be backing England against the Springboks!!! Ask any ex-pat, there is no team anyone likes to beat more than the English.

  • 218.
  • At 10:35 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Trish wrote:

Since September 7th I have sat and read these blogs usually as a catch up after having been "on tour" to Nantes (twice by overnight ferry driving 3 hours across France and back again for a match between Wales and Canada and the same again 3 weeks later), Cardiff (twice) for the Wales pool matches and Cardiff again for the quarter final (F v NZ), sometimes being amused and sometimes incensed by their content. As a rugby mad Welsh girl living in England (and married to a rugby supporting English man) there is no way that come Saturday night I will be supporting England, mainly due to the pompous arrogance with which the team, commentators and certain bloggers (50 and 113) conduct themselves. I quite enjoyed the SA v Arg semi final but my enjoyment was spoilt by the incessant interruption of Will Greenwood wishing to spout on about England and his comment when the screen showed Jonah Lomu was outrageous, some things are best left unsaid. Show a bit of humility, earn respect, you only get back in this life what you give out and if you want (or expect) other home nations to support you then think how you would like to be treated. I dread the thought of England winning - 4 more years - all those English people who know nothing about rugby spouting on (our local pub only put up an English flag and advertised the RWC the day after the Australia QF), that's what bugs me, the glory hunters, sing when you're winning brigade (and please - learn a new song, it's a negro spiritual song sung by slaves, a disgrace). As you can guess I will be praying for a SA win on Saturday!

  • 219.
  • At 10:37 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • David wrote:

I just want to address a few points that have popped up in this blog:

1. I am half English and half Irish in that order. I support those two teams whole heartedly and all the other Home nations (I am British after all) - and would be happy to see if any 6N team was to win it, I love the diverse nature of the British Isles and what we can do (e.g. Ireland's sound beating of the English in the last 6 nations even caused me to smile)

2. We are all similar... just look at how narrow minded we all are - the British for hating each other for hundreds of years of internal conflict and now the English for refusing to lie down this world cup and exit at a round deserved going on their last 4 years of play

3. I think if England DID win it it would be an absolute bloody miracle and a testament to what you can do if you put your heart, body and soul into it. Who would have thought England could have done what they could? Nobody!

4. Bernard Laporte once stated something along the lines 'A rugby pitch is the only place where you can legally wage war!'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War

- I don't care if England play the worst game of Rugby and win the world cup (or the Bokkas for that fact) as long as they do. In war, is it supposed to be pretty? No - the idea is to win. I'm sure plenty of us here played rugby, did you ever care HOW you won?! I bet you near collapsed in disbelief and a mixture of other emotions if you ever scrapped for a hard earnt win against a better side.

5. Miracles CAN and DO happen!

God knows what the outcome will be this weekend, if anyone is arrogant enough to say their team WILL do this or DO that... then they are being arrogant, just take a look at some of the results over the last few weeks!


Come on ENGLAND!!!!

  • 220.
  • At 10:37 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Liamin wrote:

This has little to do with history.

I remember jumping up and down when the British 4x4 team won the gold a while back and when England won the Ashes but RUGBY no way.

For years we (that is all the celts) were persistently humiliated by England rugby. Now we are actually all much better than England and look what has happened they are in the final.

Could John Beattie explain why an England win is good for northern hemisphere rugby? A french win would have been for sure as the northern hemisphere would have had two world cup winners playing in the same tournaments and also the game in France would have taken off producing more grass roots and spreading out to non-anglophone europe.

But how would an England win benefit us?

  • 221.
  • At 10:40 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Joe wrote:

I personally don't care too much if other nations support England or not. But if they don't I'd at least hope they'd be honest about it: I really had to laugh when I read some of our Celtic neighbours justify their support for SA based on them playing "open flowing rugby".

Are you kidding? They beat Argentina with two interception tries (wow, how creative!) and a tactic of give the ball to the Argentines and wait for mistakes - how many up-and-unders in the first half? In the previous match against Fiji they closed out the match with rolling mauls and push-over scrums. Really effective too and I'm not critical of it but let's have less of the excuse making. Of all the fly-halfs in the semi finals Wilkinson kicked the least and passed the most according to the stats.

  • 222.
  • At 10:43 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • notabrit wrote:

I used to, naively, support scottish sides in European football, and want Wales to do well at rugby, and all that stuff.

But not any more, not after coming across so much anti-English prejudice (racism?) when it comes to so many things just like sport. In fact, living in Italy I was pleasantly shocked to discover that they didnt actually hate us. So in the football world cup final when friends were supporting France because of the 'diving Italians' I countered with - they're a nation that actually doesnt hate us, do you think France would be supporting us?

So I loved the fact that Wales were knocked out at their national beloved sport. I cheered on a distant set of islands the other side of the world away from me with nothing to do with me as they exited the tournament. And I was cheering for Italy against the feeble Scots, and yes, cheering for a country we recently had a war against in the quarters.

Because that's what they'd do if our positions were reversed. And that's why I state that I am English, not a Brit, to make that distinction clear, just as small-mindedly as they do.

  • 223.
  • At 10:51 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • hannah wrote:

I think of myself as British, not English. I cheered on Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and it would be nice - for once - if they returned the favour.

Whatever you may think of the manner in which England won the quarter and semi, I don't think anyone can deny that our lads played like heroes. No matter where you're from, can't you get excited about the possibility of a fairy-tale ending to this great world cup?

  • 224.
  • At 10:57 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Paddy Macken wrote:

Do you really think the English care if anyone else supports their team? They're in the final, not Wales or Scotland, Ireland, Italy or France. If they win it, they'll deserve it and will be quite entitled to go on about it for years.

Why?

Because it really will be one hell of an achievment that no team has even come close to so far.
For all the bleating coming from those incapable of seeing a sporting comeback for what it is - at least try to pretend you're not full of spite and jealousy.
Personally - as an Irishman - I would have LOVED my team to have shown 1/10th the passion and courage the England boys have shown and win or lose - NO-ONE can take that away from them.
The English have a right to sing, dance and be confident whatever happens. And me? I'll be singing and dancing with them.

  • 225.
  • At 11:07 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ergo wrote:

Fascinating how this divides opinion. I grew up supporting England first but would always wish the other home nations well.

After working in Bristol with a Welsh rugby lover and living with Scottish football fanatic I can safely say that this desire to support the other home nations has diminished greatly.

I don't think the England team needs the support of anyone other than English fans. But I will not gloat unless provoked and I think many Englishmen would agree that it is difficult not to gloat when confronted with spite and jealousy.

The message is this: if you want us to be good winners - try being good losers.

  • 226.
  • At 11:17 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Ow... My head hurts. This argument could go on forever.

I am English. I cheered for Wales, I cheered for Ireland, I even cheered for Scotland. At the start of the group stages I had great hopes for France. We are alot closer to each other than many are willing to accept.

Other people dont agree. Thats fine.

Thats all I have to say.

Oh, and I just read someone saying 'go anglo-saxons'... I hope they realise that Saxons are Nordic/Dutch/French origin, who upon invading the British isles pushed back the native tribes... all decended from Celtic origin?

Whatever, rant over. Enjoy the game!

  • 227.
  • At 11:20 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • ig wrote:

Well we probably would if a) the English used their own anthem rather than the UK one, and b) we didn't have the English media broadcasting to us with the annnoying anglo-centric bias the ITV coverage has shown. Devolve broadcasting! Then we could cheer on the guys with the red roses with the knowledge we wouldn't be reminded of it every time we turned on the TV. To understand what this is like, imagine hearing about French national footie victories at european and world level every time a footie program came on. And if you think that's parochial (OK it is), there was a time wars were fought over the colours of a rose....

  • 228.
  • At 11:20 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Keggie wrote:

M.Spence has it right, when I was young and watching sport on a Black and White TV, we English all seemed to supported the other home nations in every sport against other countries. But then I went to Scotland and Wales, and heard that these people who we thought were our brothers actually hated us...well!
I had not personally done anything to them, but they hated me anyway?
So after a while of being abused, I like the rest of my English friends, retaliated. Of course now communication has got better, and more peole in England understand that these people hate us. So it's little surprise then that the back lash has happened.

  • 229.
  • At 11:22 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

'For years we (that is all the celts) were persistently humiliated by England rugby. Now we are actually all much better than England and look what has happened they are in the final.'

Much better - HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Only Ireland have an edge on England at the moment. Wales and Scotland, certainly do not!

  • 230.
  • At 11:23 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • keith wrote:

There must be something that legally we can do to stop England winning. It just would not be FAIR! They have played boring rugby, Jonny Wilkinson has been kicking like a schoolboy and all their backs with the exception of Robinson have consistently failed to do anything remotely interesting with the ball. Anyone can win a game if all they do is not let the other team have the ball, but why would they? Winning the game is not more important than the game itself. That's why all non-england nations hate watching england win. They have brought the game into disrepute in the past 10-15 years and must be expelled from the IRB!

  • 231.
  • At 11:23 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Louis wrote:

support england, i don't think so. if they win again we'll all be hearing about it for the next 4 years if not more knowing the way the english media react. no south africa for me, have to support someone in green being from ireland!

come on you springboks!

  • 232.
  • At 11:24 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

I've always supported the Welsh and Irish, but have always had trouble supporting the Scots....mainly down to the hatred I often feel from them about England and the English.
However, reading some of the more intelligent responses from our neighbours, including quite a few Scots, from now on I will find it much easier to support them in future.
Given the choice I personally would like our rugby team to have all your support...mainly because I think we need all the support we can get right this minute!
As for Will Greenwood...I personally found him very amusing, especially after the Eng vs France game...but then I'm English so I guess I can understand why our neighbours might get infuriated with him...but to decide not to support the English team due to one commentator I think is rather sad.
Lastly with all the banter about who may or may not be arrogant...I think several people may need to look up the definition of arrogance in a dictionary. Celebrating your own team winning isn't arrogance. Arrogance is defined as: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions. So far the only side I have seen show anything resembling this is a few individual Aussies...

  • 233.
  • At 11:26 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • ig wrote:

English used their own anthem rather than the UK one, and b) we didn't have the English media broadcasting to us with the annnoying anglo-centric bias the ITV coverage has shown. Devolve broadcasting! Then we could cheer on the guys with the red roses with the knowledge we wouldn't be reminded of it every time we turned on the TV. To understand what this is like, imagine hearing about French national footie victories at european and world level every time a footie program came on. And if you think that's parochial (OK it is), there was a time wars were fought over the colours of a rose.

i'd like to see those winning who score the most _tries_, so i guess that will be south africa.
winning from kicks is lame and boring for the audience.

  • 235.
  • At 11:27 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Paddy Macken wrote:

I was born in Dublin but have spent 32 of 37 years living in England, so my Irish lilt can often be missed. When in Wales or Scotland on numerous occasions, I've been treated or spoken to like I've just been scraped from a shoe. When I make it known I'm actually Irish everything changes.

This is very wrong.

I have tried to let it go but it just keeps happening, so, sadly, I'm losing a deal of respect for the Welsh and Scots because of this narrow-minded racism. The thing is, those people really think that I'll just smile and be grateful for their change of face. In effect it's: "Oh your IRISH - so I'll accept you and show friendliness". I have no respect for that petty-minded way, so I go stoney cold on them. Without exception, it shocks and embarrasses them greatly.

As a Paddy living in England, I think I'm on to a good thing and like being among the English people.
I want their rugby team to be world champions again and I want them to sing, dance and shout about it for as long as they want - and I will happily join in the celebrations until the Welsh and Scots are BORED with ME singing "Swing low"...!

Go England
:-)

  • 236.
  • At 11:28 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ben Featherstone wrote:

Why is that as an englishman myself, i would whole heartedly support the welsh, scottish, irish over any other nation, when the english are not playing..........be it rugby, football or darts.

Why is this Not apparent Vice Versa???

The resentment for all things english should be left where they started...hundreds of years ago.
You are a modern Man......Time to have Modern Values

Swallow your pride and get behind Wilkinson & Co

  • 237.
  • At 11:34 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • audrey wrote:

I don't think I'll be supporting England.I don't think I'll be supporting S.A. I don't think I looked forward to this final thinking I would be supporting any team that might be in it, as I knew Scotland wouldn't make it as far as that. I supported and wanted some of the underdogs or 'minnows' to win their pool games, I thought it would fantastic for fiji to beat S.A...I think at the end of the day all I want is good rugby to watch. At that rate, I'm excited to see four teams this weekend who have already played each other all out to 1. either prove themselves and win the cup or 2.revenge. Hopefully it will be exciting tense rugby - but thats all I want.

I support Scotland. I don't support England, Wales Ireland or any other 6 nations teams. I like the way France can play, I find them interesting to watch. I'm not sure why I should 'support' any other team when all I'm interested in is good rugby. I didn't 'support' Ireland or Wales in their crunch pool games, I watched because they were good to watch.

So it's not be being 'anti' anyone - I would be the same if Ireland or Wales. However, I can see that England being in it can only raise the profile of the NH, and thats good.

  • 238.
  • At 11:34 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • ig wrote:

English used their own anthem rather than the UK one, and b) we didn't have the English media broadcasting to us with the annnoying anglo-centric bias the ITV coverage has shown. Devolve broadcasting! Then we could cheer on the guys with the red roses with the knowledge we wouldn't be reminded of it every time we turned on the TV. To understand what this is like, imagine hearing about French national footie victories at european and world level every time a footie program came on. And if you think that's parochial (OK it is), there was a time wars were fought over the colours of a rose.

  • 239.
  • At 11:35 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Marc H wrote:

As a Welshman currently residing the wrong side of the Severn Bridge, this topic comes up on a regular basis with my friends, both Welsh and English.
It's simple, I will be whole heartedly 100% behind the English on Saturday.They tolerated watching Wales v Cyprus last Saturday with me (in Welsh may I add) so how could I support boks.
The French game had me on the edge of my seat, come on England!
(can't sing the chariot though.)

  • 240.
  • At 11:41 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

Interesting observation, though I suspect your view isn't shared by the majority of Celts and Irish. As an englishman it's one of the sad facts of life - everyone wants us to get beaten, by anyone. The reverse isn't true. I support the Scots or the Welsh or Irish against any southern hemisphere team, or even against France. And when the Welsh play, say, the Scots, I don't mind who wins (even though I'm quarter Scots).

Having lived in Sydney, though, where they slag off the Six Nations and Northern Hemisphere rugby in general, you do tend to feel that we should all band together as Six Nations (representing the North) against these people. I think even a Scot, Welshman or Irishman living in australia would feel the same.

  • 241.
  • At 11:55 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Boff wrote:

What depressing reading! The sheer nationalistic bile and hatred expressed by a few people on here is indicative of a older intolerance that goes back centuries and has nothing whatever to do with sport. We are not living in the dark ages any more people..

Also I find it strange that so many people take the opinions voiced by (some) TV commentators and journalists as representative of a whole nation. Do they imagine that we all think and talk like that?

I offer my personal commiserations to the Irish, Welsh & Scots, if you were playing instead of us I'd be supporting you, honest.

Come on England!

  • 242.
  • At 12:01 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • 1landaisaparis wrote:

Hi all. As a french, I can tell you that it will be very difficult for England to win support of french people, as we're the best ennemies ever (there's no german in rugby world cup.... ;-), and after a second RWC semifinal lost against the Rose.
But who knows? French like opened game (you know, the one we didn't produce...), if England doesn't kick all balls, you may have new friends...
Just to the one who said that we should all back England because they crushed Australia, please let me correct:
-thank us for beating the ABs you surely not have wun.
-we would have prefered to play Australia because their pack were not as good as yours.
nevermind, good luck england, see u in 4 years!

  • 243.
  • At 12:03 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • John Beattie wrote:

Hi

In reply to the comment about how an England win would be good for Northern Hemisphere rugby - England are in the final, they are from the Northern Hemisphere, and if they beat South Africa then that is good for us as it ups our effort come the Six Nations to think that we will be playing the world cup winners

I am heading out to Paris on Saturday, looking forward to it

JB

  • 244.
  • At 12:05 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

As a very proud Irishman (difficult with EOS at the helm), I am happy to lend my support to England in the final, they are there on guts, that will do for me.

  • 245.
  • At 12:06 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Alistair wrote:

Each to their own

But i will not be supporting england.

It annoys me that SOME english supporters feel Scots should support the English because they support the Scots. Well we never asked you to. Its nice when you do but you have to realise it is not the same for a scot to support england. its like asking the english to support france/germany/australia.

so well done on your achievement so far but it has to be the Saffers for me

  • 246.
  • At 12:09 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

As a very proud Irishman (difficult with EOS at the helm), I am happy to lend my support to England in the final, they are there on guts, that will do for me.

  • 247.
  • At 12:09 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ben Nottingham wrote:

I have to say as a PROUD Englishman i couldnt give two hoots who the welsh or scotts support. I am expecting to hear plenty of jealousy comming from our neighbours for the next four years and i'll gladly hear it. I would much rather reach the final and support my boys in the final on my own, than have watched my team be embarrassed in the few games they managed in competition. COME ON ENGLAND! Paris is lovely this time of year, especially compared to Cardiff and Edingburgh

  • 248.
  • At 12:18 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Welsh Girl in England wrote:

You're right, it's a crazy idea.

Let's think about rivalries for a moment:
D'you think the New Zealanders would back the Aussies? Or Manchester City fans support United in a final?

No. Because human instinct is based on regarding your nearest (and usually largest) neighbour as a rival, and often threat. That's life, folks and it's part of what makes sport works - chanelling the rivalry into games, not war.

However, I'd be perfectly happy to put that aside and support England in the World Cup final, if only they hadn't been so damned arrogant since 2003 (and, let's face it, any time they win things). I got really quite bored of hearing about World Champions England when actually they weren't playing all that well at all.

I may be wrong here, but I'd like to see the better side win on Saturday - the best side deserves to be World Champion.
So if England come out and surprise me by playing amazing rugby, then perhaps my allegiances will swing.

But I suspect I will be a green and gold girl all weekend.

  • 249.
  • At 12:20 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Philip wrote:

To Liamin, post nr 16. Habana is not a product of a township. He's from Boksburg , which is an Afrikaner heartland. Sorry to disappoint. Hopefully you'll still support the Boks.

  • 250.
  • At 12:24 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ste wrote:

Who cares what the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish, French, Australians etc think about us...I don't want their support just as much as I don't want their usual level of racism towards England and English people.

They don't know us as people and are alarmingly similar to us when I meet people from these places in person...yet they hold a passionate hate in their hearts against the English because of things that happened years ago.

I say we tell them where to stick their anti-English ways and gain a backbone as a nation...this inferiority complex has really gone too far now.

  • 251.
  • At 12:24 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

As a very proud Irishman (difficult with EOS at the helm), I am happy to lend my support to England in the final, they are there on guts, that will do for me.

  • 252.
  • At 12:26 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Dave Hagens wrote:

A very interesting article and one that does not have a right or wrong answer in my view. I am an English man and have watched nearly every match this tournament as a rugby fan. I for one look for exciting games of rugby and this final is going to be another nail biter. The Bokkes are favourites and deservedly so. And if we give them space they will punish us. But if we can play our own game, keep it tight, force errors & turnover ball and let Johnny kick the points, then I will gladly accept a win even if it is by 1 point with the last kick of the game. As far as the NH teams go, I would like to think that you will go out on Saturday wearing your own nation’s jerseys and enjoy the game on offer and don't spoil it by cheering on SA when there is no need for it. So come on England. Let’s make history and give the World a lesson in Rugby and show them why we are in the Final. You have nothing to prove because we are all proud as a nation. World Cup finals don’t happen every day and this is going to be great and I’m wetting myself with excitement.

  • 253.
  • At 12:31 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Smart-alec wrote:

Liamin no 220 - that's the funniest thing I've read in ages. All the Celtic nations are now so much better than England that they all go and get knocked out in the pool stages or scrape as far as the quarters. How valiant of them all to stand aside and let their English neighbours have a little glory for a change.

The English achievement in this World Cup is incredible - a testament to what real determination, passion and a belief in your own abilities can achieve. Win or lose on Saturday, this has been one of the most remarkable sporting turnaronds ever. Who cares about the past 4 years now? England are turning it on when it matters. Ugly? I love it!!

  • 254.
  • At 12:37 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

A very interesting article and one that does not have a right or wrong answer in my view. I am an English man and have watched nearly every match this tournament as a rugby fan.

I for one look for exciting games of rugby and this final is going to be another nail biter. The Bokkes are favourites and deservedly so. And if we give them space they will punish us. But if we can play our own game, keep it tight, force errors & turnover ball and let Johnny kick the points, then I will gladly accept a win even if it is by 1 point with the last kick of the game. As far as the NH teams go, I would like to think that you will go out on Saturday wearing your own nation’s jerseys and enjoy the game on offer and don't spoil it by cheering on SA when there is no need for it.

So come on England. Let’s make history and give the World a lesson in Rugby and show them why we are in the Final. You have nothing to prove because we are all proud as a nation. World Cup finals don’t happen every day and this is going to be great and I’m wetting myself with excitement.

  • 255.
  • At 12:50 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Smart-alec wrote:

Liamin no 220 - that's the funniest thing I've read in ages. All the Celtic nations are now so much better than England that they all go and get knocked out in the pool stages or scrape as far as the quarters. How valiant of them all to stand aside and let their English neighbours have a little glory for a change.

The English achievement in this World Cup is incredible - a testament to what real determination, passion and a belief in your own abilities can achieve. Win or lose on Saturday, this has been one of the most remarkable sporting turnaronds ever. Who cares about the past 4 years now? England are turning it on when it matters. Ugly? I love it!!

  • 256.
  • At 12:53 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

As a very proud Irishman (difficult with EOS at the helm), I am happy to lend my support to England in the final, they are there on guts, that will do for me.

  • 257.
  • At 12:55 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • 'thoon wrote:

One of the greatest things about Rugby is hearing the Welsh, in Cardif, singing the Marseillaise! I LOVE Rugby – it’s THE game. Even though I’m technically from the SH I have adopted Britain and Europe and I love the 6 Nations. I love the rivalry and the intensity and the recognition of one team / nation for another when rugby enthusiasts of any age, world-over, meet and talk and banter. I love the passion teams put into the game – the Irish and the Argentinians and the Italians. I admire the competitiveness brought by the Aussies and the Kiwis and the Bocks. I applaud and cheer all the underdogs and the aspiring nations or cities or teams. So far this championship has produced gracious, cool winners and losers among the players which has been inspiring ….. so, “For the Love of Rugby!”, lets not have any more pathetic, parochial, patronising drivel dragging up historical bygones or differences. The future belongs to the enthusiasts! Vive El Rugby!!

  • 258.
  • At 12:56 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Eimear wrote:

To all England fans it is I you have to thank for getting you into the World Cup Final. I put the blink on the Kiwis, who in turn tired out the French and thus put you into the Final.
On the Lions Tour in New Zealand I got heaps of abuse from Kiwis about the team and how 'we' had so many World Cup Winners on the team and yet were being trashed. I told them they could keep the Lions Trophy. It was only an excuse for us to go on the beer - we would rather them win that and then sit back and watch them choke again in the World Cup.
As an extremely disappointed Irish fan I will be supporting England for the Final but when English people question the 'hatred' factor of the Celtic Nations particularly during the Six Nations it stems from this type of comment - while still on the Lions Tour you will remember that the London bombs went off. When at the Auckland Test a bit of friendly abuse was being exchanged between Lions and Kiwi fans. Some English fan forgot that there were Irish, Welsh and a Scot on the team and I politely pointed out that he should be cheering for everyone not just Engalnd. He said he'd happily cheer for the Irish if we would just stop bombing them. His friend apologised for him later but he had ruined the game for me and alot of others around

  • 259.
  • At 12:56 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

As a very proud Irishman (difficult with EOS at the helm), I am happy to lend my support to England in the final, they are there on guts, that will do for me.

  • 260.
  • At 12:56 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

As I said on another blog:

"I really am going to need therapy after this world cup.

It is going to be so difficult to stand up in front of my fellow ruggerholics and say. "I am a Welshman and I wanted England to win!"

I'm sure I'll recover but I hope to God I don't have a relapse when the six nations rolls around.

So, before I start the rehab program, go for it England - I'm sure you can win it.

Phew!"

  • 261.
  • At 01:00 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Callan wrote:

England Rubgy is boring, no flare at all just give it to Wilko. I have a feeling they will get knocked all over the park.

As a Welshman I would never back England. 1, because when they win they never stop talking about it and 2, when they lose they never stop complaining about it...

Lets go the BOK, bring home they bacon.

  • 262.
  • At 01:03 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • STON wrote:

i think post 220 has a point.

Rugby in England has certain connotations which are not shared by other sports in Britain (Orwell's quote about facism and twickenham on an international match day springs to mind)

The 2003 team were also a pretty unattractive bunch (remember martin johnson refusing to move at landsdowne road so the irish president had to walk in the mud?)

However this england team typify sport at its best - courage and belief of the underdog as well as extraordinary team spirit. What a contrast to Ireland's performance.

I am Irish and admit to feeling uneasy about supporting england in the past. But this time around i (and suspect a lot of irish fans will be)cheering england on..

  • 263.
  • At 01:05 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

As a very proud Irishman (difficult with EOS at the helm), I am happy to lend my support to England in the final, they are there on guts, that will do for me.

  • 264.
  • At 01:06 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

As a very proud Irishman (difficult with EOS at the helm), I am happy to lend my support to England in the final, they are there on guts, that will do for me.

  • 265.
  • At 01:14 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

This debate is really money for old rope.

Also, anyone who uses the likes of Greenwood, Dawson, Moore as a justification for their opinions really are using them as a smokescreen for their personal prejudices. Yes, the media is poor on a number of levels. Let's face it, you can always find an excuse somewhere in the media to justify your opinion, can't you?

Kudos to everyone who is neutral who says that they just want a good match. They shouldn't be obliged to support anyone, but then again shouldn't also feel the need to be against a side either. Why not enjoy a game free of any (excessive) emotional investment for a change?!

  • 266.
  • At 01:15 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • James wrote:

As an Englishman I despise the majority of the right wing, knee jerk, xenophobic media and cringed both at Will Greenwood's commentary on Sunday night and at the interviewer who kept asking John Smit about England rather than the game that they had just played, so I can understand where people are coming from with those points. I can also understand why people find it difficult to cast aside traditional rivalries in these circumstances - I honestly don't know how I would feel if Wales, Scotland or Ireland were playing South Africa in the final. Jealous probably. Ultimately who you support in any given circumstance is a personal decision that shouldn't be dictated by anyone else. If other Britons want to support South Africa then that is up to them, if they want to support England then that is every bit as valid. All that most people would ask is that credit is given where it is due regardless of the outcome on Saturday. Like it or not, admire the style or not, the fact remains that an unfancied England side has made it through to the final and beaten a couple of very good sides on the way. This doesn't represent the death of rugby, it simply represents a style that happened to be the most effective way that this particular group of players have identified to win games which is, after all, the point of competing in the tournament.
The one thing that does stick in my craw is this stuff about gloating. Yes, there are some England fans who have gloated about 2003 (you only have to have read these blogs over the course of the tournament to see that) but the vast majority simply celebrated a fantastic achievement, as any set of supporters would. England is a sports mad country that has consistently been let down by under achieving teams and plain incompetence in so many sports for so long that surely you can understand that we're pretty happy when we do actually win something.
Sorry to go on a bit.

  • 267.
  • At 01:16 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Atlas wrote:

An England win would help all the 6 Nations, by making NH rugby even more popular -> more people play -> the better teams get

It is pathetic when I go to Ireland that the only reason some people talk to me ( I speak with an English accent) is because they know my mother who is fully Irish, if not they would totally blank me and start firing curses and looks at me, and even aggression at some times when drunk! This all stemmed from years ago when they killed a few of us, so we killed a few of them... if everyone held this sort of grudge we would still be in the dark ages. People should grow up and not hold it against me that my g g g g g g g g g g grandad who I didn't know or really care who he was killed theirs who is equally anonymous to them.

  • 268.
  • At 01:17 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Ioan wrote:

Dickiebird, 15:
What tosh - the Irish are at least now a free state while the Scots and Welsh still have to endure English rule!
Where you get the idea that the Irish recognise England's history-making achievement any more than the other Celts is beyond me - we make fun of your stolid style but we envy and admire your fronting up when it matters.
The S.Hemisphere giants who have been knocked out, too, certainly play more exciting rugby than England but they obviously didn't show the guts and heart when they're on the rack.
Congratulations, good luck, and thank you for restoring a bit of esteem to the 6 Nations. I won't be able to help getting more excited by SA's play than England's but it's got to be better that at least one Euro team shines the taps on Europe, whose teams have for the most part, underachieved.
(Oh, and please iron out your sweeping generalisations of Celtic nations!)

  • 269.
  • At 01:19 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tostao wrote:

While walking around Paris in my Ireland jersey, in advance of our game against Argentina a few weekends back, I experienced plenty of England supporters wishing Ireland well for the match. In the same spirit, I say good luck to England on Saturday night. I hope they win and do the 6N and NH proud. Gotta say that there's way too much bile being spewed on these blogs, from both sides of the divide, and that's not healthy.

  • 270.
  • At 01:30 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Tostao wrote:

While walking around Paris in my Ireland jersey, in advance of our game against Argentina a few weekends back, I experienced plenty of England supporters wishing Ireland well for the match. In the same spirit, I say good luck to England on Saturday night. I hope they win and do the 6N and NH proud. Gotta say that there's way too much bile being spewed on these blogs, from both sides of the divide, and that's not healthy.

  • 271.
  • At 01:31 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Richiep wrote:

I'm a welshman, and my heart is supporting the English! Better that we get a crack at beating the world champs every 6 nations, plus it is great for the Northern Hemisphere who have for so long been in the shadows. Come on the celts lets get behind them.....

Another factor that has helped getting over the physchological issues when supporting England, was my little wager. A straight forecast for the final and england to win against the boks. I will support you now, but its business as usual next year! Good luck!!

  • 272.
  • At 01:43 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • John wrote:

What is all this rubbish about NH vs SH when it comes to rugby support. We Saffas have very little in common with other rugby playing nations from the SH. Just because the Argies and the Italians cry before a match, it does not make them similar nations. Most of us white Saffas are decendents from French, German, Dutch and even English families. During 2003 most of us supported England in the final against Aus - not because we feel any affinity towards them, but because it was good for rugby and they were the best side at the time. Neutrals should be free to choose whoever they want, using their own criteria for support that is free from the psycological restraints placed on them by their former conquerers.

  • 273.
  • At 01:46 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Richiep wrote:

I'm a welshman, and my heart is supporting the English! Better that we get a crack at beating the world champs every 6 nations, plus it is great for the Northern Hemisphere who have for so long been in the shadows. Come on the celts lets get behind them.....

Another factor that has helped getting over the physchological issues when supporting England, was my little wager. A straight forecast for the final and england to win against the boks. I will support you now, but its business as usual next year! Good luck!!

  • 274.
  • At 01:46 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Captain Planet wrote:

I don't mind seeing England doing well as a strong England is good for NH rugby - but what I do mind is the shameless bias of the "UK" media towards the England sporting teams, and how they still bleat on about victories years after the actual event (1966 anyone?)

I think that is what really grates on the Celtic nations more than anything.

As for actually singing Swing Low - that's a step too far I think!

  • 275.
  • At 01:48 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • doug cairns wrote:

80 minutes of support vs 4 years of crowing at being little better than mediocre. Plus more of rent a cliche Greenwood. Sorry it does not work for me. Come on the Boks

  • 276.
  • At 01:50 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Donaldson wrote:

Like most ex-pat set ups back in the (70's), Borneo no doubt had a clonial feel to it which would have catered well for an amalgamation of Scots and Englishmen living in merry co-existence. Having been an ex-pat myself, I think the best place to be a Scot sometimes has to be abroad! Everything succumbs to a much higher level of tolerance when it's beautiful sunshine everyday, but in the reality of the cold UK, with the winter setting in, let's get real John. I've been in a bar in Scotland where England have been playing Germany at Football and the Landlord has turned the German National Anthem down to play Flower of Scotland- Many Scots, like myself, will tell you they're not interested in taking Nationalism to such absurd levels. However, Englishmen are always very quick to say how they always support Scotland and how Scotland never, never support England. I believe the bottom line is that Scots are simply more honest about the underlying indifference here, the same underlying indifference Englishmen choose to turn into self-righteous garbage: Scotland don't care if England win, but England don't care if Scotland win- I've never seen English fans shouting passionately for Scotland. You either really support a team or you don't, there's no midway.

  • 277.
  • At 01:53 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • John MacHenry wrote:

As an Irishman who has lived in England in excess of 51 years, It has always been my boast that I support only 2 teams. Ireland and whoever is playing England..

I can, of coarse justify this by complaining about your press. I have always tried to follow the ethic - don’t gloat when you win, and don’t moan when you lose. The English do the opposite. In this World Cup your commentators have been unbearable. I have had to endure the pleasure at my local rugby club when Ireland lost to Argentina, and almost lost to Georgia. At the same venue I witnessed the glee on all the faces, except for the couple of Welsh in the clubhouse when Fiji were victorious. You are the worst team ever to reach the World Cup Final, and it will be a disaster for rugby should your boring brand be successful on Saturday. I could go on for hours.

However if I am honest, I have to say that what Ashton, Ford, Wilkinson, Sheridan, Robinson and every single member of the England squad have achieved in the past month has been truly remarkable. How you
could recover from the humiliation of a 36 point defeat by South Africa, and before that the Croke Park nightmare shows guts and determination, and a game plan which, if not attractive, has been successful.

I will be at Taunton rugby club on Saturday evening . If I am not supporting England then put it down to one thing - JEALOUSY. You are there, we aren’t.

I would love to see my grandsons decked out in green cheering on Ireland in the World cup final. (For one of them Ireland IS the team he supports).

Win or lose on Saturday, This England rugby team has earned my respect

John MacHenry

  • 278.
  • At 01:54 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • mog wrote:

The celts shouldn't be anti-England simply because their own sides let them down so badly. The welsh were woeful, the scots decided they were losers before the all-blacks game and fiedled a poor side and as for the Irish, New Zealands dire performance took the spotlight off their staggering failure. England should be supported for making an average team play like kings rather than hated because the celts teams have been so poor!

  • 279.
  • At 01:55 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • doug cairns wrote:

80 minutes of support vs 4 years of crowing at being little better than mediocre. Plus more of rent a cliche Greenwood. Sorry it does not work for me. Come on the Boks

  • 280.
  • At 01:55 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Rock wrote:

Sorry John Beattie - I don't agree.

Two reasons why I believe the majority of Celts will not be supporting England 1)Wil Greenwood and 2) a victory for England is a defeat for rugby - how can you get so excited about penalties and drop goals? Tedious. Wil Greenwood's words "it doesn't matter if its an ugly win as long as its a win" sums up the quality of the England team. I don't take any pride in watching that.
PS - Fancy Boks to improve on last result oh and by the way score some tries.

  • 281.
  • At 01:56 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Donaldson wrote:

Like most ex-pat set ups back in the (70's), Borneo no doubt had a clonial feel to it which would have catered well for an amalgamation of Scots and Englishmen living in merry co-existence. Having been an ex-pat myself, I think the best place to be a Scot sometimes has to be abroad! Everything succumbs to a much higher level of tolerance when it's beautiful sunshine everyday, but in the reality of the cold UK, with the winter setting in, let's get real John. I've been in a bar in Scotland where England have been playing Germany at Football and the Landlord has turned the German National Anthem down to play Flower of Scotland- Many Scots, like myself, will tell you they're not interested in taking Nationalism to such absurd levels. However, Englishmen are always very quick to say how they always support Scotland and how Scotland never, never support England. I believe the bottom line is that Scots are simply more honest about the underlying indifference here, the same underlying indifference Englishmen choose to turn into self-righteous garbage: Scotland don't care if England win, but England don't care if Scotland win- I've never seen English fans shouting passionately for Scotland. You either really support a team or you don't, there's no midway.

  • 282.
  • At 02:01 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • John MacHenry wrote:

As an Irishman who has lived in England in excess of 51 years, It has always been my boast that I support only 2 teams. Ireland and whoever is playing England..

I can, of coarse justify this by complaining about your press. I have always tried to follow the ethic - don’t gloat when you win, and don’t moan when you lose. The English do the opposite. In this World Cup your commentators have been unbearable. I have had to endure the pleasure at my local rugby club when Ireland lost to Argentina, and almost lost to Georgia. At the same venue I witnessed the glee on all the faces, except for the couple of Welsh in the clubhouse when Fiji were victorious. You are the worst team ever to reach the World Cup Final, and it will be a disaster for rugby should your boring brand be successful on Saturday. I could go on for hours.

However if I am honest, I have to say that what Ashton, Ford, Wilkinson, Sheridan, Robinson and every single member of the England squad have achieved in the past month has been truly remarkable. How you
could recover from the humiliation of a 36 point defeat by South Africa, and before that the Croke Park nightmare shows guts and determination, and a game plan which, if not attractive, has been successful.

I will be at Taunton rugby club on Saturday evening . If I am not supporting England then put it down to one thing - JEALOUSY. You are there, we aren’t.

I would love to see my grandsons decked out in green cheering on Ireland in the World cup final. (For one of them Ireland IS the team he supports).

Win or lose on Saturday, This England rugby team has earned my respect

John MacHenry

  • 283.
  • At 02:02 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • mog wrote:

The celts shouldn't be anti-England simply because their own sides let them down so badly. The welsh were woeful, the scots decided they were losers before the all-blacks game and fiedled a poor side and as for the Irish, New Zealands dire performance took the spotlight off their staggering failure. England should be supported for making an average team play like kings rather than hated because the celts teams have been so poor!

  • 284.
  • At 02:04 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Gawen Taylor wrote:

If Ireland, Scotland or Wales had reached the final I'd have no hesitation whatsoever to support them. I wouldn't think twice!

The governer at my local (top man Greg!) is a Welshman and I'd gladly back him and Wales if they were in the final.

Hope the home nations would support England come Saturday, it's time to cross boundaries and heal rifts now isn't it.

Rugby seemed to do wonders in South Africa in 95', can't we follow their example?

  • 285.
  • At 02:05 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • keith wrote:

...wonder what Ricky Hatton would make of all this?...A proud Englishman fighting the controversial if brilliant American Floyd Mayweather...no doubt who our celtic 'friends' will be supporting if the tone of the above posts is anything to go by...

  • 286.
  • At 02:05 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Gawen Taylor wrote:

If Ireland, Scotland or Wales had reached the final I'd have no hesitation whatsoever to support them. I wouldn't think twice!

The governer at my local (top man Greg!) is a Welshman and I'd gladly back him and Wales if they were in the final.

Hope the home nations would support England come Saturday, it's time to cross boundaries and heal rifts now isn't it.

Rugby seemed to do wonders in South Africa in 95', can't we follow their example?

  • 287.
  • At 02:07 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Gawen Taylor wrote:

If Ireland, Scotland or Wales had reached the final I'd have no hesitation whatsoever to support them. I wouldn't think twice!

The governer at my local (top man Greg!) is a Welshman and I'd gladly back him and Wales if they were in the final.

Hope the home nations would support England come Saturday, it's time to cross boundaries and heal rifts now isn't it.

Rugby seemed to do wonders in South Africa in 95', can't we follow their example?

  • 288.
  • At 02:09 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Davis in East Yorkshire wrote:

If, and I sincerely hope it happens. England manage to win the WRC. I feel it will be a vindication of Rugby's abiding principle that it is a team game, played by a team and not a collection of a few super talented individuals. Though deficient of acclaimed world class stars England have become a tightly knit side that appears to be playing according to first principles and making the most of its limited abilities. This is the basic ethos of sport and the reason for knock out competition. The alternative would be to award the cup to the all blacks and forget to hold a world cup at all as the media have convinced lots of people once again that they alone play good rugby. ask Sean fitzpatrick , colin meads or sid going if they consider England's style and game plans to be bad for Rugby and see what they say.the style england play was The all Blacks styl4e for many decades as their awesome forewards beat teams into submission before finally using their backs long after the game was a contest. We marvelled for years at the intensity of their play when England and the other home nations played like naieve school boys and threw the ball about willy nilly and got hammered. Remember what they say "forwards win matches, backs only decide by what score". and if our neighbours support us this time then good for the,m and if they dont then it's their choice and their loss. just dont be bitter lads and remember that true England fans are modest in victory and magnanimous in defeat and those who are not aint worth their salt and are bandwagon jumpers who count for nothing.Dont let them colour your view. First job is to win then we can argue afterwards. This is true of all life and especially of sport

  • 289.
  • At 02:09 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Mark Bailey wrote:

I wouldn't support Wales (especially) or Scotland if they reached the final, due to their consistent hostility towards England over decades when it comes to rugby. I only have to recall the reaction to the 36-0 game to know that I am right in my views.

It also makes me laugh the amount of respect the Celts have for Southern Hemisphere teams. You should have heard my Welsh mate prior to the quarter final with Australia - all he could go on about was how brilliant the Aussies are.

So, I don't want support from the Welsh or Scottish, thanks very much. If we lose, I will take their abuse on the chin and if we win I will luxuriate in it for the next four years as they try and pretend their little occasional victories in the Six Nations are somehow on a par.

  • 290.
  • At 02:09 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

I have completely given up supporting the welsh or scots after many years of watching their supporters outrageously siding with England's opposition at every chance.

Now I delight in seeing their rugby stock fall ever lower. Fiji's victory, in particular, was loudly cheered. In fact, I will not be entirely happy now until neither fail to qualify for a World Cup.

  • 291.
  • At 02:09 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • munster_girl wrote:

if england win the wc by 1 point or by 100 points it soesnt matter because they will have deserved to do so. even if they don't win, the fact that they got to the final in itself is remarkable and testament to the team spirit, hard work and tenacity that they have built up. no, other home nations fans don't have to support england but they also don't need to slag england off or make petty comments about luck, arrogance, 600 years etc etc. i'm irish but if ireland couldn't win it, then i'll support england as i'd rather a nh team to win it than sa. alot of anti english comments here are just born out of jealousy.i have loads of english friends who would be shouting for ireland, if it was the other way round so in my opinion we should lend our support to england.

  • 292.
  • At 02:11 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

we have enough supporters not to worry about whether the other countries want to back us. i couldn't care less - and at least england being in the final gives the england-haters someone to cheer for.

the french showed real class after saturday's game and should the yarpies win on saturday, hopefully we will do the same. as for the scots, irish and "rugby's our national sport" welsh, give us a shout when you make a final and we'll worry about who to back then.

  • 293.
  • At 02:12 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • doug cairns wrote:

80 minutes of support vs 4 years of crowing at being little better than mediocre. Plus more of rent a cliche Greenwood. Sorry it does not work for me. Come on the Boks

  • 294.
  • At 02:12 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • ferg wrote:

i dont know what to say. as a Welshman and a person who believes in independence you would expect me to be an England hater, and to be honest i have been but i find my self in a state of confusion. i have been all over the world following rugby and some of the greatest fans i have met and drank with are English, I was in Marseilles after they won against the ozzies, they were amazing. The only idiots were the non rugby people supporters and we have plenty of them here. I dont think that i can bring myself to support them but i wont be actively looking to support the Boks so i have to hope for an exciting final with passionate fans on both sides cheering their sides on and look forward to New Zealand in 2011 and the 20 (not 16 please IRB) teams fighting for that little gold cup.
allez le rugby

  • 295.
  • At 02:17 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Not to be over sensitive lads but
"Home Nations" does not equal "Britain", nor are we all on the same island, nor do we all share a border with England (just a selection of the mistakes printed).

Anyway, as an Irishman I will be delighted when more of our countrymen get over our anti-English vibe but that doesn't mean I will support England on Saturday.
SA play much more exciting and interesting rugby, and apart for the wonder that is Wilkinson, are a better team man-for-man.

  • 296.
  • At 02:18 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Rors wrote:

Just try being half Scottish and Half English, watching the game in a Springbok household.

Its enough to make Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide weep..

  • 297.
  • At 02:19 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

we have enough supporters not to worry about whether the other countries want to back us. i couldn't care less - and at least england being in the final gives the england-haters someone to cheer for.

the french showed real class after saturday's game and should the yarpies win on saturday, hopefully we will do the same. as for the scots, irish and "rugby's our national sport" welsh, give us a shout when you make a final and we'll worry about who to back then.

  • 298.
  • At 02:20 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

I am getting sick and tired of this. I will be supporting South Africa every inch of the way in the hope that a true rugby playing side can be better than the long ball equivalent of football.

If England represent the great six nations competition then god help us as I am yet to watch a more boring side. I know, it is pragmatic and playing to strengths, but how can the potential world champions be so clueless when spinning the ball wide and actually attacking teams.

England winning would be a disaster for the game we love.

  • 299.
  • At 02:23 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Phil Davies wrote:

As a Welshman currently exiled in Sussex, I’ve never found it difficult to support England or any other northern hemisphere side against a southern hemisphere side (well, maybe not the French, only joking my 'bleu' friends), mainly due to the sheer arrogance of SH sides.
It was good to see the ‘not so All Blacks (reference to the kit)’, and whinging Aussies go out to NH sides.
However I now find that I have a dilemma!!
Since the 2003 world cup I’ve been subjected to constant reminders (as if they were needed) as to who the ‘World Champions are’. No matter how well or badly England have played, you still get the “we’re still the World Champions” routine.
The question is, can I take another 4 years of this rubbish?
Of course if England do win, it will be worse, I can just hear the commentary now…….. “and here come the only team ever to have won back to back World Championships”.
……….and as for the rest of us, may the good lord have mercy on our soles!!

  • 300.
  • At 02:24 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • munster_girl wrote:

no 266- i didnt want to bring up colonialism but your comments mean it must be addressed. you said the irish killed the english and the english retaliated. for your information ireland was colonised by england, subjected to a tyrannous reign ( my great uncle was tortured by british security forces in the 1920s) and yes violence was used to achieve our freedom. i dont condone violence but the english were brutal and used violent methods to put us down for wanting independence. this is history and you clearly dont know any of it. they really should teach irish history in english schools. - so learn some the next time you shoot your mouth off. i'm supporting england but comments such as 266's do nothin to dispel the image that the english are arrogant. personally i have lots of time for the english, i'm supporting england as ireland cant do it and well done for getting to the final. however there are as many ignorant blogs here from english fans as there are from celtic fans. everyone needs to grow up. celtic fans need to move away from the past and english fans need to realise that the british empire is dead. it's about rugby and sport, not about who did this to someone a century ago.

  • 301.
  • At 02:25 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Davis in East Yorkshire wrote:

If, and I sincerely hope it happens. England manage to win the WRC. I feel it will be a vindication of Rugby's abiding principle that it is a team game, played by a team and not a collection of a few super talented individuals. Though deficient of acclaimed world class stars England have become a tightly knit side that appears to be playing according to first principles and making the most of its limited abilities. This is the basic ethos of sport and the reason for knock out competition. The alternative would be to award the cup to the all blacks and forget to hold a world cup at all as the media have convinced lots of people once again that they alone play good rugby. ask Sean fitzpatrick , colin meads or sid going if they consider England's style and game plans to be bad for Rugby and see what they say.the style england play was The all Blacks styl4e for many decades as their awesome forewards beat teams into submission before finally using their backs long after the game was a contest. We marvelled for years at the intensity of their play when England and the other home nations played like naieve school boys and threw the ball about willy nilly and got hammered. Remember what they say "forwards win matches, backs only decide by what score". and if our neighbours support us this time then good for the,m and if they dont then it's their choice and their loss. just dont be bitter lads and remember that true England fans are modest in victory and magnanimous in defeat and those who are not aint worth their salt and are bandwagon jumpers who count for nothing.Dont let them colour your view.

  • 302.
  • At 02:28 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

we have enough supporters not to worry about whether the other countries want to back us. i couldn't care less - and at least england being in the final gives the england-haters someone to cheer for.

the french showed real class after saturday's game and should the yarpies win on saturday, hopefully we will do the same. as for the scots, irish and "rugby's our national sport" welsh, give us a shout when you make a final and we'll worry about who to back then.

  • 303.
  • At 02:30 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Davis in East Yorkshire wrote:

If, and I sincerely hope it happens. England manage to win the WRC. I feel it will be a vindication of Rugby's abiding principle that it is a team game, played by a team and not a collection of a few super talented individuals. Though deficient of acclaimed world class stars England have become a tightly knit side that appears to be playing according to first principles and making the most of its limited abilities. This is the basic ethos of sport and the reason for knock out competition. The alternative would be to award the cup to the all blacks and forget to hold a world cup at all as the media have convinced lots of people once again that they alone play good rugby. ask Sean fitzpatrick , colin meads or sid going if they consider England's style and game plans to be bad for Rugby and see what they say.the style england play was The all Blacks styl4e for many decades as their awesome forewards beat teams into submission before finally using their backs long after the game was a contest. We marvelled for years at the intensity of their play when England and the other home nations played like naieve school boys and threw the ball about willy nilly and got hammered. Remember what they say "forwards win matches, backs only decide by what score". and if our neighbours support us this time then good for the,m and if they dont then it's their choice and their loss. just dont be bitter lads and remember that true England fans are modest in victory and magnanimous in defeat and those who are not aint worth their salt and are bandwagon jumpers who count for nothing.Dont let them colour your view. First job is to win then we can argue afterwards. This is true of all life and especially of sport

  • 304.
  • At 02:37 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • John Huddy wrote:

John Beattie's article is interesting but actually there can be enormous differences between peoples immediately to either side of a national border. I have just been to the United States and was told by someone there that Detroit is riddled with guns and shootings but you only need to cross the lake to Canada and, only half a mile away, peace and tranquillity reigns. No guns and no shootings.

  • 305.
  • At 02:38 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Lee wrote:

The feeling is mutual wasnt always like this. I used to want Scottish teams to win football/rugby whatever as they are our neighbours...that changed when I saw the contempt they have for us.....come on Georgia!

  • 306.
  • At 02:38 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Ioan - what part of having a Scottish Parliament and a Scot leading the Government in Westminster is 'having to endure' English rule? Seems the other way round to me...

As for England - we have to endure the Welsh talk endlessly of their great rugby history (when did they last beat NZ exactly?), the French prepare for their victory parade in Paris (still, never mind eh?) and Ireland talk of their glorious, all-conquering side, the best in Irish history (good World Cup eh?). At least Scotland had a humble, gentlemanly side, that performed well too.

  • 307.
  • At 02:40 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • IanCoady wrote:

I see three diferent types of fans in these posts.
1)Fans with mixed heritage who support the home nations because they feel some elegance to them
2)Fans who want banter with other home nations but will support England when it comes to it.
3)Bigoted nationalists who have no idea why they hate England (or vice versa) but simply feel that way.

I've gone to watch England play against all the home nations at some point and have been able to both give and take the banter at some point but everyone knows that it stays as banter. What seems to be developing is a deep seated xenophobia. Scots and Welsh, we haven't been to war with you for three hundred years. You're no longer opressed by us so get over your grudges and lets hope for a cracking game of rugby on Saturday and an England win

  • 308.
  • At 02:40 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Marc H wrote:

As a Welshman currently residing the "wrong" side of the Severn Bridge, this topic comes up quite often with both my English and Welsh friends.

It's quite simple.I will be 100% wholeheartedly behind the English this weekend. The game against France was an absolute cracker (and a very amusing evening as my wife is French) and I'm sure it will be the same against the boks.
My English mates had to tolerate watching Cyprus v Wales in football last weekend (in Welsh may I add!) so how could I support the South Africans against a home nations team.

To all the non-English Brits supporting SA this weekend, you should get out more, the English are not all like Will Carling!

Not sure about singing the Chariot song but COME ON ENGLAND!

  • 309.
  • At 02:41 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • stuart mack wrote:

Does it really matter, I for one will support whomever I feel is more deserving, normally the underdog unless a team really plays well from the front, I mean free flowing champagne rugby.

Anyway, support us or not the fact that we got to the final is a minor miracle and the best of the Northern Hemisphere sides, better in fact than the favourites and the other over confident and arrogant side from down under.

Will we win, I think we will, it's winning rugby we play at the moment, it's not pretty and definitely not memorable, but you don't worry about performances only results.

  • 310.
  • At 02:41 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Boyd Brebner wrote:

I am happy that England are in the final, as a Scot I realise that Englad and France are the best hope for a Northern Hemispehre win. I support the team but dread them winning, the team are not the problem its the press that just drive me mental. They will go on endlessly just 4 or so weeks after ripping them a new one, makes you sick to your stomach. I will watch the game as a neutral and hope that we get a good game a rugby.

  • 311.
  • At 02:41 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Wayne Barnes wrote:

I just hope the match officials have a good game

  • 312.
  • At 02:43 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Lee wrote:

The feeling is mutual wasnt always like this. I used to want Scottish teams to win football/rugby whatever as they are our neighbours...that changed when I saw the contempt they have for us.....come on Georgia!

  • 313.
  • At 02:51 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • David - Oslo wrote:

Well, not sure if these comments are about the teams playing on Saturday or the hatred that all of the home nations have for each other. Do England deserve to be in the final, does not matter because they are. Will South Africa win; well they are playing better rugby. Whatever happens on Saturday it will be a great game not matter who wins. That is what rugby is about.

It is amazing that all the home nations have so much hatred for each other but most of the people who are making these comments here are forgetting that the British & Irish Lions will be touring again in 2009 under one banner and one shirt. Four Nations as one!

When you go on tour to watch the Lions you realise how close we all are. In 2009, we will be playing in South Africa.

I hope that on Saturday, whoever wins does so with style and the team who lose is gracious in defeat. Enough Said.

  • 314.
  • At 02:52 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Rhys Hughes wrote:

Come on John, if England win well hear nothing but how good the are for the next 4 years, 1966 all-over again! No thanks

  • 315.
  • At 02:52 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Oslo wrote:

Well, not sure if these comments are about the teams playing on Saturday or the hatred that all of the home nations have for each other. Do England deserve to be in the final, does not matter because they are. Will South Africa win; well they are playing better rugby. Whatever happens on Saturday it will be a great game not matter who wins. That is what rugby is about.

It is amazing that all the home nations have so much hatred for each other but most of the people who are making these comments here are forgetting that the British & Irish Lions will be touring again in 2009 under one banner and one shirt. Four Nations as one!

When you go on tour to watch the Lions you realise how close we all are. In 2009, we will be playing in South Africa.

I hope that on Saturday, whoever wins does so with style and the team who lose is gracious in defeat. Enough Said.

  • 316.
  • At 02:52 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Pickled Pedro wrote:

Chris (Post 81) & Steve (Post 82)
Both of you are spot on . .
I thought these Islands were GREAT Britain.
No wonder we're not Great any more with such vitriolic bigotry & claptrap.

I'm English & want England to win. If they do great, if they don't, oh well, maybe next time.
If it was anyone else in the final I would want the best team on the day to win because they've earnt that right, regardless of nationality.

  • 317.
  • At 02:55 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Donald wrote:

Im not sure about the relevance of John's point about people living on either sides of a border being similar, this would be the case in many neighbouring countries all over the world and I dont see it as being a reason for people of one country to support their neighbour in a sporting event! Ultimately England and Scotland are neighbours and tradiotional rivals, its hardly a surprise that people on both sides have a laugh at the other failing....thats the way a rivarly works. Talk of "chips on shoulders/racism/small mindedness" is way over the top.
Personally (as a Scot) I was happy to see England beating Australia (and the All-Blacks losing to France) because I was a bit tired with all the sniping from the SH about how poor the NH teams are. I also thought England were tremendous in their win over France and if they beat the Boks Ill be sending a few congratularly texts to my many English mates. But I still would rather they lost! And Im not a bigot for saying that.

  • 318.
  • At 02:56 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Why do people always harp on about fair weather supporters for England? Over the last 10-15 years Twickenham is always sold out regardless of who we are playing and how well the team is doing. In fact they could sell it two or three times over such is the demand for tickets. Now Murrayfield is a different matter altogether. Vast empty spaces and kids with free tickets to boost the numbers in recent years. The team starts to do (reasonably) well again and play some attractive rugby and the fans return. Hypocritical?

As one of the other posters said back to back RWC triumphs would actually be worth harping on about. And as for the question who would England fans support in a RWC final or semi-final if England weren't there. How can you answer when it hasn't happened!! I, for one, am english and would support any home nation over a SH team. I wanted Wales to beat Fiji. I wanted Ireland to beat France. Is it England's fault that they weren't good enough?

  • 319.
  • At 03:00 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • James R wrote:

Althogh an Englishman I generally support all the home nations whether it is playing rugby, football, judo...whatever....However I do feel that a fair bit of poking fun at each other and supporting the other side (ie non-home nation side) is perfectly acceptable, each to their own really. In my experience I find that i whole heartedly support a HN team whenever I don't expect them to win(was supporting Scotland against Argentina and was very pleasantly surprised that they beat the French in the football), however I find it absolutely hillarious when HN teams struggle to beat less established sides that most people whould expect them to beat comfortably, in which case would I support the 'underdog' for comedy value alone. It's not meant to be harsh, I just think that the amusement gained from watching a team that should comfortably win getting beaten outweighs any loyalties one has to his Northern Hemisphere Bretheren, and I imagine this is the same for most people (I imagine most ppl, except fot the English, thought it absolutely hilarious a couple of years ago when England lost to N Ireland in the football). As such, if wales/Scotland/Ireland/France/Italy were playing in England's place I would definitely be supporting them.

But as I said I wouldn't expect anyone else to be supporting England for the reason that local rivalries don't tend to lend themselves to mutual support of both teams. Would you expect a Man Utd supporter to support Man City any way, shape or form?? (I know that I'm using a lot of football examples, but I don't think it detracts from the point). And I don't think that the majority City and Utd fans really hate each other, despite what they may say, it's just the rivalry that is in place. i feel it is the same in this case, except that there is a certain Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere divide, and it would be nice if all us up here standing the right way up could pull together!!! Not that I'm expecting it!!!

C'MON ENGLAND!!!

  • 320.
  • At 03:01 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

I'm English and both a player and spectator of rugby. When I go to Twickenham I'll admit to not liking a lot of the England fans. I don't feel the same way about Welsh, Irish and Scottish rugby fans who I've always enjoyed the company of. I therefore find it quite easy to understand why the other home nations don't like the English much. In general it's how you act that makes other people react badly to you. I've not experienced anything other than good natured banter about my Englishness in Wales or Ireland. Sadly I have experienced agression because of my nationality in Scotland but not from rugby fans.

If you act in a hateful way you may well attract hatred!

Finally can we stop mentioning the behaviour of football fans as a reason for dislike in rugby - come on guys we are a very different group of people who kinow better!

  • 321.
  • At 03:03 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Cathy Q wrote:

Dear Callan, as an English person living in Wales, I think you are confusing the countries!! We still keep hearing about Wales grand slam, not just the recent one but the ones in the past about 100 years ago!!!) And they expect miracles, moan constantly when they loose, so then blame the coach and sack them. sorry but there is a very big chip on the shoulder. I for one wanted France to win and would support Wales after England. Ive yet to meet a Welsh person who would GENUINELY support England.

  • 322.
  • At 03:04 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Boyd Brebner wrote:

I am happy that England are in the final, as a Scot I realise that Englad and France are the best hope for a Northern Hemispehre win. I support the team but dread them winning, the team are not the problem its the press that just drive me mental. They will go on endlessly just 4 or so weeks after ripping them a new one, makes you sick to your stomach. I will watch the game as a neutral and hope that we get a good game a rugby.