Black Ferns gain new perspective on haka as Rugby World Cup comes into focus

The Black Ferns will be out to defend the Rugby World Cup on home soil this year. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

If opposing teams want to get a sense of what it’s like to face the Black Ferns when they arrive in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup next year, they can now pay a visit to Federal St in downtown Auckland.

A recording of the national women’s rugby team performing their haka, Ko Ūhia Mai, made at Eden Park in 2019, is now on display on a four-metre high screen, as part of the All Blacks Experience, which opened last December.

The addition of the Black Ferns’ haka was formally launched on Wednesday, with several players present, including veteran hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, who said the experience of facing it rather than leading it was “definitely different”.

“Now I know what it feels like to be facing the haka, just like every other team that plays against the Black Ferns, and it’s definitely not a good sight, not being in that team.”

Ko Ūhia Mai’was gifted to the Black Ferns by Whetu Tipiwai, who was the kaumātua of the Māori All Blacks for a decade from 2001 to 2010, as well as a member of the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board for 15 years, but died in 2015.

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