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Murphy: Haka a fond memory

The haka promises to be something special when Ireland line up against the New Zealand Maori on Friday night, but it may come as a surprise to the hosts to learn that Ireland captain Geordan Murphy has been on the other side of the fence when it comes to the Maori war dance.

When he was a student at Newbridge College in Kildare, Murphy was part of an exchange scheme with Auckland Grammar, a famed Kiwi rugby school, and in that time performed hakas.

He went on to face hakas eight times, seven with Ireland and once with the Lions in 2005, and it provides a unique insight into the practice and importance to the Maori culture.

"It's a magnificent thing," said Murphy. "I have been on the other side of it before. And then I've faced it a few times. I've had the great honour of playing with some quality All Blacks and I've seen it first hand. We'll respect it, enjoy it. It's a rugby tradition."


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