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Saturday 10 December 2016

Ireland's Call is a tame affair compared to this

Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30

The Haka: putting Ireland's Call in the shade
The Haka: putting Ireland's Call in the shade

The Haka has a long history as one of the most feared and respected pre-match rituals in the world.

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Few other international sporting teams possess a warm-up as powerful as this and there is no doubt that it is an amazing spectacle.    

It was first performed before an international rugby fixture by the New Zealand Native Team in 1888 and still plays a key role in physically and mentally preparing them for a match.  Originally the haka was an ancient posture dance the Maori used to prepare a war party for battle.    

It was performed either on the battle field prior to engagement with the enemy, or as the war party was leaving their own village on their way to fight.      

The ferocious nature of the performance created a frenzy among the warriors, psyching them up for the impending conflict.    

Nowadays most New Zealanders can recite the Haka as if it was the national anthem and it is taught in all schools.  Wearing the black jersey is the dream of all youngsters who play rugby and aspiring young players will practice the Haka in front of a mirror in anticipation of a possible future call up to the team.  Perhaps it is now time to rewrite Ireland's Call?

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