Borthwick backs Curry after racial slur controversy calling it a 'World Rugby matter'
Former New Zealand scrum-half Steve Devine has claimed that he would rather “pick up s***” at his local dog park than watch England play at the Rugby World Cup. Despite reaching the final four, Steve Borthwick failed to win over all of his critics as his team look to end their tournament on a high in their third-place play-off with Argentina on Friday.
England have been criticised for their style of play under Borthwick, something that the team have noted throughout their campaign in France. They cruised through the pool stage and their quarter-final with Fiji, before exiting at the hands of the Springbok to spark backlash once again.
One sceptic who has continued his criticism of England is Devine, who savaged Borthwick’s side ahead of their bronze medal match and made it clear that he will not be watching another of their games anytime soon.
The former All Black told radio station SENZ: “I hate England. I honestly would rather gone down to my local dog park and picked up s***. That’s how exciting I found that. If that wasn’t a World Cup semi-final that would have been the worst game of rugby ever played.”
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The presenter agreed: “You’re right, if it wasn’t a World Cup semi-final, what would the interest level be?” “There wouldn’t be any,” Devine replied. “I feel horribly disappointed at people who paid really good money for those seats.”
This level of critique has been nothing new for the England team, as in the build-up to their quarter-final with media darlings Fiji, Billy Vunipola shot down that neutral fans were rooting against them due to their affection for the Fijians – as he felt it was due to their disdain for the English.
“I would not say Fiji is their second favourite, I would say England is their first least-favourite team,” Vunipola said earlier this month. “In terms of being public enemy number one, we are happy to take that mantle.”
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@senz_radio Steve Devine calling it how he sees it! Was England v South Africa one of the worst ever games in world rugby? #rwc2023 #rugbyworldcup #worldrugby #englandrugby #southafricarugby #springboks #allblacks #nzrugby #rugbyunion #rugbytiktok ♬ original sound- SENZ Radio
Scrum-half Danny Care hoped that their run to the semi-finals would have won some over, as he reflected on the campaign: “There was a lot of stuff said about us before and hopefully we’ve changed some perceptions, maybe got people believing in us again.
“Before the tournament, we understand that because of our performances people were doubting us a little bit. But then things clicked into gear a bit when we got over to France. We’ve shown stuff that fans can hopefully get behind and be proud of. The support we’ve had over here and back home has been amazing. This team will go on to bigger and better things, I’m sure of it.”
But judging by Devine’s comments, he does not seem like someone who believes in England once again and instead appears grateful not to have to watch a final with Owen Farrell and co involved.
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