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11th Jun 2017

Highlanders to ditch Lions Haka for something a little more Scottish

Should be interesting

Patrick McCarry

The Haka. We love it but, three games into the 10-match Lions Tour, we could do with a break.

The Maori war dance is one of the best sights in world rugby but anyone that has been following the Lions in New Zealand so far will have seen the tourists face multiple Hakas so far.

And there are four weeks to go.

Stephen Ferris and Kevin McLaughlin already joked, on The Hard Yards rugby podcast, how the players will be sick of the singing and dancing rituals by the end of the tour.

That could certainly be said for Mako Vunipola as he faced a fierce Crusaders Haka in Christchurch this weekend:


There will be no Mako against Highlanders, in Dunedin, this Tuesday and no Haka, for that matter.

The Highlanders have confirmed they will be forgoing the ritual in favour of a more locally themed welcome for the Lions. Highlanders captain Luke Whitelock told Stuff:

“We’ve got something a little bit different I suppose, we’re all excited about it.

“We’re trying to reflect what we’re about down here. I guess you’ll see that come Tuesday, really.”

“We’re around our values,” he added, “just trying to be good buggers and help each other out, just a sort of tight family group, and work together as a team.”

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark stated that the team felt their own version of a haka was not appropriate. He added that the Tuesday welcome will be Scottish themed.

Highlanders often get bagpipes or pipe bands in for their Super Rugby games so expect something along those lines.

Unite the clans!