Alan Jones has a piece on the haka in The Australian to day:
The British empire was thriving and those living in the British Isles enjoyed the novelty of seeing visiting teams from the colonies.
The All Blacks, Springboks and the Wallabies all obliged in Britain; but rarely would they perform a war dance at home. It was seen as a bit of a joke on home soil, way back then.
As things evolved, the Springboks and Wallabies eventually dropped their war dances, but the All Blacks maintained theirs. They call it the haka.
I have to say, I don’t mind a bit of song and dance. It is part of the entertainment. But I do agree with Alan Jones on this point:
At the end of the day, the haka is simply a war dance, the issuing of a challenge. At the risk of upsetting some, my view is it should only be performed on New Zealand soil when they are defending their home turf. I think it extraordinary that World Rugby allows the All Blacks to do the haka wherever they go. Remember, they get a national anthem as well.
It is even more absurd that their opponents are forced to stand and watch as the All Blacks aggressively summon the spirit of Tumatauenga, the Maori god of war, to be with them in battle.
Why should they have to stand 20m away? I would be saying to the team, get in their faces. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. You might recall the French stood toe-to-toe with the All Blacks during the haka at the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal in 2007. Les Bleus went on to win that Test 20-18.
Anyway – turns out there is a rugby match on over the weekend.