Rugby: England rugby boss condemns Wallaby-booing fans

England's rugby chief has sent an apology to Australia's high commissioner in London after the Wallabies' goalkickers were booed and jeered during their 28-14 win at Twickenham.

RFU president Brian Williams wrote to High Commissioner John Dauth apologising for the "bad manners" shown by England fans towards Wallaby goalkickers during Saturday's game.

But Dauth, who watched the game alongside Williams, has brushed off the controversy, saying the Wallabies have endured even "louder booing and more intimidation" from New Zealand supporters in the past.

"I was high commissioner in New Zealand before I came here and I can tell you the reaction to the Australian team at Eden Park (in Auckland) would vastly outweigh anything at Twickenham," Dauth told BBC Radio 4.

"New Zealanders are on the whole lustier when it comes to supporter sport than most countries in the world."

The Wallabies showed little sign of being bothered by the booing and jeering as Matt Giteau kicked superbly to land six penalties and a conversion and skipper Stirling Mortlock succeeded with his one long-range penalty attempt.

But Williams said he was "very annoyed" about the crowd behavior and had ordered an investigation as to why his calls for the abusive fans to quieten down was not broadcast over the ground's public address system.

"I apologised to the High Commissioner, John Dauth, as we sat watching the game and heard the noise when they lined up their first penalty. I wasted no time," he told the Daily Mail.

"I am a great supporter of the ethos of the game and this strikes me as another example of how the crowd is changing and that maybe many of those responsible are not real rugby supporters.

"They are letting England down. After the second Australian penalty, the noise gradually got worse. I think it's awful.

"Real rugby supporters don't behave like that because they know it's wrong to show anything less than complete respect to the kickers from both sides."

England are due to face South Africa next, while the Wallabies will take on France.

 

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