Leicester Tigers’ former New Zealand international Scott Hamilton says the furore surrounding England’s all black World Cup change kit would not have happened if it was any other country choosing to wear it.
The 31-year-old back who has made a huge impact since arriving at Welford Road from Canterbury Crusaders in November 2008 and made 83 starts for the biggest club in the country.
And as a former All Black with two caps living in England, he is well qualified to pass judgement on a controversial issue which had New Zealand prime minister John Key calling Martin Johnson's side “a bunch of wannabes” last week.
Speaking exclusively to Living Rugby, Hamilton said: “Every country changes their reserve kit all of the time and England have decided to go for a black one in the World Cup.
“Apparently there is some sort of Maori design on it and that shows that they are thinking about embracing the local culture.
“But because it is England doing it, nobody in New Zealand will see it that way. If it was Ireland or France doing it, nobody would give a monkeys. But England? That’s a big issue.
“The bigwigs of English rugby should have really seen it that way.
“When they run out in that kit, it will be in the news all over the place – especially in New Zealand.
“Not too many teams wear black and that draws even more attention to it. It could be just like an All Black jersey - but with a rose on it!”