ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
The touring British and Irish Lions have revealed their plans to respond to the All Blacks haka this weekend in Aukland – and it’s the most British thing ever.
Set to the tune of Pink Floyd’s seminal 1975 prog rock masterpiece, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part VIII), the Lions will dance beneath the 4-meter tall pole placed between the halfway line and the 22 for three minutes.
Lions coach Warren Gatland says it’s an important display of cultural heritage and it pays tribute to the nation’s forefathers and ancestors.
“I don’t think there are many people in Britain who don’t like Pink Floyd. They are a part of the national fabric,” said Gatland.
“I also don’t think there’s many who hate doing the maypole dance with their mates. Even the Scotsmen are getting in on the action, changing it up from their usual warm-up routine of a cigarette on the dead-ball-line and a can of Irn Bru,”
“Look out New Zealand, this is real culture.”
However, the move has raised eyebrows up and down Aotearoa this week.
While some more regressive commentators have asked whether maypole even belongs on a rugby field, even the more progressive voices in Kiwi rugby have been left scratching their heads.
Former All Black captain Richie McCaw has questioned the move, saying that it’s even worse than the ‘creepy hand-holding thing’ the French national team did in the final of the 2015 world cup.
“They shouldn’t be dancing like that on a football field,” said McCaw.
“Not one of them can enter a ruck from the side without being caught, either. They’re a bit of a strange outfit, though. Not as weird as the French, but they’re certainly a different school of fish, bro.”
More to come.