Rugby

All Blacks almost ditched haka

2014-11-07 09:10
All Blacks haka (Getty Images)
Cape Town - The All Blacks considered ditching the Ka Mate haka shortly after Graham Henry took over as coach in 2004, Britain's Daily Telegraph has revealed.

A decade ago, many All Blacks felt that the haka was no longer appropriate, All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka Enoka revealed.

Enoka said the team went through a period where they were asking questions about the haka

"A lot of the guys said 'hang on, I'm not sure if we even want to do it any more. Perhaps this is no longer for us.'"

Enoka said the haka was at that time "acting as a distraction before kick-off as film crews rammed microphones and cameras ever closer to the players' faces."

Centre Aaron Mauger also revealed how it was becoming a burden for the players because the cameras were in their faces and that they were "doing it for the wrong reasons".

Management and senior leaders, led by Tana Umaga, held discussions on how the haka could be maintained and kept relevant and consultations were held with the Ngati Toa tribe, to whom Ka Mate Ka Mate belongs, and it was decided to commission Derek Lardelli, an expert in Maori customs, to compose a new haka tailored specifically for the All Blacks.

And so Kapa o Pango was born.

With the haka still going strong in 2014, expect the All Blacks to perform it when they tackle England at Twickenham on Saturday (kick-off 16:30 SA time).

Teams:

England:

15 Mike Brown, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8-Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 David Wilson, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 George Kruis, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 George Ford, 23 Anthony Watson

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett,

Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Liam Messam, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ryan Crotty

Read more on:    all blacks  |  rugby
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