The Blues will unleash their first haka as a challenge to the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on Wednesday night.
Coach Tana Umaga said the players wanted to integrate the many cultures in the team into a unique challenge for some time and the DHL New Zealand Lions Series provided a great opportunity to lay down a haka to the visitors in front of a passionate home crowd.
“We have an exceptional group of men who are proud of their Pacific cultures and are looking forward to connecting their heritages through a haka,” Tana said. “We have been practising for some time and the boys will be looking forward to getting out there for what will be a fantastic occasion.”
The haka was composed and choreographed by Blues fans Whiria Meltzer and Ruka Makiha. Whiria is well known in rugby circles as a Sevens player of note for North Harbour and now Northland.
The haka is titled He Toa Takitini which means the Strength of Many.
It talks about us as a team and our wider community and acknowledges those who have worn the jersey before us. The haka also encourages us as young men to strive for excellence and to never waiver from a challenge.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini kē
My strength is not just my own, but it is the strength of many.