Twickenham spectators will be warned before England take on world champions South Africa next Saturday not to boo and jeer before opposition kickers take shots at goal.
This follows Brian Williams, the president of the Rugby Football Union, apologising to John Dauth, the Australian High Commissioner, during last Saturday’s 28-14 victory by the Wallabies over England, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Williams said he was annoyed by the constant booing before Matt Giteau, the Wallaby kicker, took his shots at goal.
“They are letting England down. After the second Australian penalty, the noise gradually got worse,” the RFU president was reported to have said.
The move to counter the noisy crowds is part of the RFU’s growing concerns that the Twickenham spectators are becoming more and more like the ones at football matches.
“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.”
Williams said his request to have an announcement over the public address system did not materialise. It is now expected that spectators will be asked to respect the opposition goal kicker when he lines up his shots at goal next Saturday.
“We will make an announcement before the game asking for respect to be shown to both teams. We do not want this to be repeated.”
Some rugby union grounds have gained a tradition for silence when the goal kicker lines up. Munster, Leicester and Northampton always enforce a ‘no booing’ policy.