Lions legends: Don’t ditch the haka

Two British & Irish Lions legends have reacted with dismay after a veteran New Zealand broadcaster called for the All Blacks to scrap their famous haka war dance. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Two British & Irish Lions legends have reacted with dismay after a veteran New Zealand broadcaster called for the All Blacks to scrap their famous haka war dance.

Kiwi journalist Frank Haden, defending the views he expressed in an Auckland newspaper, said: "Off the footie field, Kiwis are notoriously hard to stir up and be motivated to do something en masse. But somebody has to say it, the haka is well past its use-by-date."

But former Lions great Barry John told Wales on Sunday: "The haka has been part and parcel of the All Black team for as long as I can remember.

"It’s not menacing and players who face it either face up to it or just don’t look. It would be sad if it went."

And fellow Welshman Mervyn Davies agreed, saying: "The haka is part of a tradition, part of a tradition of New Zealand rugby and also the surrounding islands.

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"Yes, it is intimidating to the opposition, but from a personal point of view it was a way of switching myself on and focusing on the game ahead."

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