Some thought this was rugby values at their best, some thought it was crass false humility... what do you think?
In the aftermath their 21-13 loss to Wales, the RFU’s social media gurus posted the above shot which was the result of England cleaning the changing room at the Principality Stadium. You might not realise it, but the subject of ‘sweeping the sheds’ – the act of tidying up a changing room after you’ve used it, which is meant to be a humble act that keeps megastars grounded – is a hotly-contested one.
Some believe that this is ‘rugby’s values’ at their best. There is no better visual to sum up the notions of respect for your opponents, that no one is too big to do the little jobs, and of a shared work-ethic, they believe.
On the other side, some people find images like this cynical and crass; the act of bragging about how humble you are defeats the purpose, some say.
So here’s what was posted on Twitter…
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Well, as you can see, there are some differing views out there on this.
Plenty of the complaints come from the fact that it was England who tweeted about this themselves, rather than their hosts, Wales. Some pointed to the football World Cup, when the Japanese national team cleaned the changing-room and left a thank you note for their opponents, but said nothing on social media about it – someone else discovered their gracious work. For them, that was a better example of humility.
Anyway, the phenomena of shed sweeping won’t be going anywhere fast. Nor should it – the debate is about whether to post online about it or not.