New Zealand’s players insist they are not upset by former England scrum-half Matt Dawson’s ’Hakarena’ video, poking fun at traditional war dance the Haka.
Political figures in New Zealand hit out at 2003 World Cup winner Dawson, suggesting his light-hearted video was ill-judged.
All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu moved quickly to downplay the spat, however, claiming Steve Hansen’s squad — defending their 2011 title at the World Cup — see the funny side of Dawson’s video.
“It’s actually quite funny seeing him doing it,” said Mealamu. “It is part of what we do, but it is not what we do as a rugby team, we go out there to play the game.
It is his view on the way he sees it. He sees it different to us.”
Maori Party co-leader Sir Pita Sharples branded the video “insulting”.
“The Haka is done as a way of honouring the enemy,” said Sharples. “You do it if you’re up for a challenge. By doing the Haka, as the All Blacks do, it’s recognising the worth of the other side. So, if they’re doing something to mock the Haka, then that’s pretty shameful.”
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