The All Blacks considered ditching the Ka Mate haka shortly after Graham Henry took over as coach, Britain’s Daily Telegraph has reported.
A decade ago, many All Blacks felt that the haka was no longer appropriate, All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka Enoka told the Telegraph.
“Back when Graham Henry took over in 2004 we went through a period we were asking questions about the haka,” Enoka told the Telegraph in an interview published today.
“A lot of the guys said ‘hang on, I’m not sure if we even want to do it any more. Perhaps this is no longer for us.’
Enoka said the haka was at that time “acting as a distraction before kick-off as film crews rammed microphones and cameras ever closer to the players’ faces.”
Management and senior leaders, led by Tana Umaga, held discussions on how the haka could be maintained and kept relevant and consultations were held with Ngati Toa.
It was decided decided to commission Derek Lardelli, an expert in Maori customs, to compose a new haka tailored specifically for the All Blacks – Kapa o Pango.
Read more on NZ Herald.