British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton conceded he had never experienced anything to rival the Maori welcome for the squad at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
“We’ve had quite a few Maori welcomes in 2011 for the World Cup and when Wales toured here last summer, but that was like nothing I’ve experienced before,’ said the Lions skipper.
An incredible welcome for us at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
— British&Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) June 3, 2017
“That was brilliant. The day and the setting made it even more special.
“Off the rugby field, that was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had. All the players came out of there in awe really.
“I knew they weren’t going to smack me in the face! It was more of a welcome really; a sign of respect,’ said Warburton.
“You enjoy those moments – I’ve done a few of them over the years, but that was more special than the others.”