‘Honour the haka with bagpipes’

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A SCOT studying in New Zealand has called on Scotland supporters to ignite a cauldron of noise in response to the haka at next month’s Test match with the All Blacks, insisting that they would do so with the blessing of the Maori people.

In a report sent to The Scotsman and the SRU, John McLister claims the IRB’s ruling that New Zealand’s opponents should honour the haka by facing it in silence is at odds with Maori tradition, and urges Scotland fans to play bagpipes and sing Scots Wha Ha’e in response to it.

A mature student at Canterbury University in Christchurch, Mr McLister has interviewed Maori leaders and a variety of other New Zealanders for a research project on the haka, a challenge that has become a 
controversial part of the New Zealand warm-up.

Critics believe it to be an anachronism that gives the All Blacks an unfair psychological advantage.

An SRU spokesman would not be drawn on whether it would take on Mr McLister’s idea, but confirmed that bagpipes were welcome in the stadium, stating: “We would encourage supporters to give the team their usual tremendous backing.”