There’s a long tradition of  salacious stories being generated around any touring side daring to take on the All Blacks in New Zealand and the RFU should have been prepared.

 The New Zealand media are always keen to do their bit to undermine touring sides, and know that by finding and feeding in stories of off field antics they can create instability in a side.

So why weren’t the RFU ready for it? Preparation should certainly have included briefing the players – it’s all very well having a code of conduct – but were they told why, did the PR advisers explain that the Kiwi media would be looking for stories to distract them from the task in hand and would only require the slightest of leads to get the ball rolling with a UK media also enthralled by tittle tattle and scandle.

I suspect not, and why? The answer I am guessing is in too big a gap between players and PR advisers who if they are followers of the game ought to have seen this coming before they even got on the plane.

England winger Mark Cueto hints at this in this BBC interview;


So now they are in firefighting mode, and the headlines are about drunken antics and lewd comments to hotel staff rather than the rugby.

On the other hand – the way they are playing perhaps that was the plan all along!