Super Rugby trio Crusaders, Blues and Chiefs have announced they will perform the haka against the British and Irish Lions when they tour New Zealand this summer.
The haka is a pre-match ritual in which New Zealand rugby players perform a Maori ceremonial war dance involving chanting and slapping.
“To our delight, the Lions, who have never faced a haka outside of the Maori All Blacks and All Blacks, have embraced this opportunity for their first ever matches against Super Rugby teams,” New Zealand’s chief strategy and operations manager, Nigel Cass, told the New Zealand Herald.
British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland says it would be ‘fantastic’ to coach the All Blacks one day, although insists it is not on his mind at the moment.
Warren Gatland has delivered an upbeat fitness bulletin on three members of his British & Irish Lions squad.
“We have been talking to our other teams about whether they would like to perform a haka or have some other form of ceremonial presentation.”
Blues — who are working with local Maori on their haka — are the first Super Rugby team to face the Lions on June 7, with Crusaders (June 10) and Chiefs (June 20) following suit.
Chiefs have already got a haka in place, which they have used after each of the Super Rugby Championships in 2012 and 2013 and before their clash with Wales last summer.
Former All Blacks fly-half Andy Ellis insists Crusaders must make their haka more than just a show: “I don’t know what they’re going to pull out or who’s going to lead it, but we’ve got foreigners coming to our country to face our franchises and we’re laying down the challenge, It’s how we roll, I think it’s cool.
“It’s got genuine meaning, so if the Crusaders can make it special and make it more than just a haka for people to watch but make it almost spiritual, it will have some real power.”
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Chiefs, Blues, Crusaders to perform haka vs. Lions
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