British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is adamant he will not be intimidated by New Zealand’s world-famous Haka.
Warburton led the Lions to glory in Australia two summers ago, but faces just as stubborn a test in 2017, with the Sea of Red without a series win over the All Blacks since 1971.
But the 26-year-old flanker – who is winless in three tests against New Zealand for Wales – is confident the traditional war cry of the Kiwis will not help the hosts edge the pre-match mind games when the Lions come to town.
“People always ask me, ‘is the Haka scary?’ and most people expect me to say it is, but it’s not,” he said on the Clare Balding show.
“My dad always told me that they were all kids once; they are all human and feel pain like anyone else.
“So no, I don’t get scared when I watch the Haka, but I do look out for the guy who is giving it the big one, normally at the front, and really set my eyes on him.
“I’m waiting for him to look at me so I can tell him with my eyes what is going to happen at kick-off.
“And when we get the captain’s toss against New Zealand, always go tails – tails for Wales never fails. Martin Williams told me that.
“If it comes in I’ll always choose to kick off so we can put the ball deep into their half, and just run up and leather one of them.”
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