"Raise the stakes" - Italy are set to respond to All Blacks haka with one of their own - Ruck

“Raise the stakes” – Italy are set to respond to All Blacks haka with one of their own

In Lyon this Friday, a truly special moment awaits Italy’s formidable forwards, Toa Halafihi and Hame Faiva, as they prepare to face off against the mighty All Blacks.

Born on New Zealand soil, both of these remarkable athletes have donned the colors of the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. In a twist of fate, Faiva even had the honor of representing New Zealand Under-20 at the Junior World Championships in both 2013 and 2014.

In an intriguing twist of emotions, Halafihi, brimming with anticipation, hinted that he might not be content to merely stand and observe the All Blacks in the run-up to Friday’s electrifying Pool A clash.

“Me and Hame have been talking about doing a haka back, just the two of us!” he quipped.

“But jokes aside, it will be very emotional if we do get the chance to suit up on the field.

“It would definitely be an honour to face up against what we grew up watching.”

As for performing the haka themselves, Halafihi has not ruled it out.

“I think it would almost be a challenge because they have laid down the challenge of the haka and if we do the haka back it would definitely raise the stakes a little more.”



Scotland (15)

WP Nel (South Africa), Pierre Schoeman (South Africa), Javan Sebastian (England), Ewan Ashman (Canada), Sam Skinner (England), Jack Dempsey (Australia), Hamish Watson (England), Ali Price (England), Ben White (England), Ben Healy (Ireland), Chris Harris (England), Cameron Redpath (France), Sione Tuipulotu (Australia), Kyle Steyn (South Africa), Duhan van der Merwe (South Africa).

Italy (11)

Ivan Nemer (Argentina), Hame Faiva (New Zealand), Dino Lamb (England), David Sisi (Germany), Toa Halafihi (New Zealand), Sebastian Negri (Zimbabwe), Martin Page-Relo (France), Juan Ignacio Brex (Argentina), Ange Capuozzo (France), Monty Ioane (Australia), Paolo Odogwu (England),

Wales (10)

Taulupe Faletau (Tonga), Tomas Francis (England), Dan Lydiate (England), Will Rowlands (England), Henry Thomas (England), Christ Tshiunza (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Gareth Anscombe (New Zealand), George North (England), Nick Tompkins (England), Johnny Williams (England),