New Zealand's All Blacks.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
WELLINGTON – New Zealand’s All Blacks coach has defended suggestions that the team has “overused” the traditional haka.
Steve Hansen fielded criticism from former players that the pre-match haka has been devalued by overuse.
The All Blacks used to perform the haka before selected tour matches but now perform the traditional Maori challenge at all of their international fixtures.
“It has lost its mana (prestige). It has become a showpiece,” former New Zealand prop Kees Meeuws told British author Peter Bills Bills’ in the book “The Jersey” published in the New Zealand Herald.
“They should do it at certain Test matches but not all… now they play 14 Test matches a year and that’s too much as far as the haka is concerned,” he said, referring to the foot-stomping, chest-thumping ritual.
Coach Hansen defended the haka, saying it was an All Blacks’ tradition.
“We don’t use it any different than we’ve ever used it. It’s part of the commencement of the game and it means a lot to this group,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“They understand all about it, we understand it’s not for anybody else other than ourselves and we draw a lot from it,” he said. GAD/Expat Media
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