Boks looks at Zulu dance to counter Haka
July 17, 2007

The Springboks are thinking about resurrecting an old Zulu war dance to match the All Blacks' haka at the rugby World Cup.

Springboks' coach Jake White said he was discussing the idea of their doing a version of the war dance, similar to the New Zealanders' famous challenge.

"We are closer to tradition with ours than the New Zealanders are with theirs," White told the Pretoria-based the Star newspaper.

"The history books show that the 1926 Springboks performed a Zulu war dance in major matches on their tour."

How seriously has White considered the idea of reviving the tradition?

"I have thought about it and have asked the presidents what they think. It is being discussed.

"New Zealand have come up with a new haka recently and, quite honestly, I would like to use ours as a challenge to them.

"We have done this challenge before in our team room in the four years since I have been involved as coach, but it hasn't really taken off as an idea to do it in public. Not yet, anyway."

White believes such a pre-match ritual could have enormous value in terms of a team's psychological preparation.

"There is no doubt in my mind it is a motivational tool. Under the new haka, the players walk towards you now and can advance six metres. But where did that rule come from, where is it written?

"I have heard old All Blacks sit in the grandstand and pick up the whole mood of the team just from the haka the players perform.

"All I am saying is that maybe it is time we revived a genuine tradition from the past of South African rugby when we performed a Zulu war dance. This is no gimmick - it is a part of our rugby history and tradition."

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