Warren Gatland believes the decisions taken by Wales and England to wear black change kits at next month's World Cup should be viewed as a mark of respect towards hosts New Zealand.
England, who traditionally play in white shirts, shorts and black socks, and so have rarely needed a change kit against most of their international opponents, have come in for criticism for their new black change kit with many feeling the colour belongs to New Zealand's All Blacks.
Wales too have a black change kit, albeit with red side panels and Gatland, himself a New Zealander, said no offence was meant to the World Cup hosts.
England are set to wear their new black apparel against Wales in Saturday's World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham.
"A lot of people are making issues out of having a black kit, but we have had a black away kit in the past," Gatland said.
"In professional sport there are commercial implications in kits, and I see going to New Zealand with a black kit as a sign of respect to the All Blacks.
"We all know how important the black kit has been to New Zealand and how significant it has been in rugby and other sports.
"The black jersey is about respecting New Zealand as a nation and as a rugby country. That is the way we are looking at it."
Both Gatland and England counterpart Martin Johnson are due to name their teams for this weekend's match on Thursday.
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