Who will lead the All Blacks haka?

Getty Images     08 Jun 2016     Getty Images

Over the past decade, only a handful of players have led the All Blacks haka. From the raw passion of Liam Messam and Piri Weepu to the overwhelming mana of Richie McCaw and Keven Mealamu, the All Blacks haka has secured its place as one of the most rousing acts in world sport. 


Now with greats Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu and Piri Weepu retired from the black jersey, and Liam Messam focusing on sevens in 2016, a new leader of the haka will be unveiled on Saturday.

As a player, former All Blacks and Samoa halfback Ofisa Tonu’u both performed the haka and faced up to it and believes the All Blacks Haka will now move into a new era.

“There’s no doubt that the back seat of the bus would have had a big discussion on who is going to lead out the new era. You are led out onto the field by the captain, but the leading of the haka is just as important – you are like a flag bearer for an Olympic team.

“As the head of the ship does Kieran Read lead the first haka? Or is it someone like Tawera Kerr-Barlow? He has been there long enough and earned the right to take on that role. If Kerr-Barlow is in the match-day 23 then he is my pick to lead the haka.”

While the haka has traditionally been led by a player of Maori descent, Tana Umaga and Richie McCaw have broken this mould over the past decade to leave the door open for a non-Maori player to lead it once again. Although with 13 players in the squad of Maori descent, there is no shortage of willing contenders to take on the role.

Along with a new leader of the haka, a number of debutants will also perform the Haka for the first time. All Blacks all-time leading point scorer Dan Carter talks about performing the haka during his All Blacks debut against Wales in 2003.

“Standing on the field and singing the national anthem was a very emotional experience, but what probably stands out most from that day was being involved in my first haka.

To perform the haka for the first time was such a rush. I snuck to the back because I was so nervous, but over the years I’ve worked my way up and now I’m at the front. We won that first game, and I never looked back.”

Who do you think will lead the All Blacks haka this Saturday? Join the conversation and let us know using #TeamAllBlacks