On the day that England unveiled its controversial all-black change kit for the first time, Northampton flanker Tom Wood spoke out in support of the design. Despite being given the go-ahead by New Zealand authorities ahead of the shirt's launch, many New Zealanders have criticised the choice of colour scheme - notably rugby legend Jonah Lomu.
However, England international Tom Wood - who will almost certainly play in the World Cup - has spoken out in support of the new kit. Acknowledging that it was a marketing ploy designed to help shift a great number of the kits, Wood told The Telegraph that it was a tactic done to "raise some eyebrows." "It has got a red rose on it and that is all that matters to us," he claimed. "The All Blacks have worn white as their change kit and we haven't said anything about that. Perhaps the media will make something of it but we like it, it looks good." His comments may prompt rugby-lovers across the UK to invest in similar rugby t shirts.
The Rugby Football Union's (RFU) chief commercial officer, Sophie Goldschmidt, was not so keen on being drawn into the diplomatic debate. Instead, she simply told rfu.com: "We are delighted with the new kits which will keep England at the forefront of rugby design and innovation. "We believe both kits will be very popular with supporters in what is an exciting year for English and global rugby." England is set to use the kit in a friendly against Wales in the coming weeks and then during its World Cup pool match against Argentina on September 10th.