The British & Irish Lions squad and
support staff will receive a special welcome at the Waitangi
Treaty Grounds in New Zealand on 4 June 2017.
The event, which will be open to the public,
will see the team receive a traditional Pōwhiri and be welcomed
into the famous Whare Rūnanga (meeting house).
British & Irish Lions Tour Manager, John Spencer
said, "The welcome at Waitangi will be a moving
experience for all our team and one that I know they are looking
forward to. Being culturally prepared for our tour of New
Zealand is important to us and something we intend to embrace by
sharing some of our team's cultures, whether it be in English,
Welsh, Scottish or Irish."
The Lions journey to the meeting house will
involve a Taua (Warrior contingent) including a three-part
challenge with each kaiwero (challenger) presenting a taki
(offering) on the ground in front of three selected Lions
representatives. This part of the ceremony will conclude with a
karanga (call of welcome) and haka.
The pōwhiri ceremony will begin in front of the
ceremonial war canoe Ngātokimatawhaorua and conclude at Te Whare
Rūngnga with whaikōrero (speeches) and waiata from both sides
before a customary shared meal.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds Chief Executive Greg
McManus said, "It will be an honour to have the British &
Irish Lions at the birthplace of the nation and it is fitting the
team has accepted the invitation to be welcomed onto Waitangi
Treaty Grounds. There could be no more appropriate place to
welcome the team and their supporters to our shores as they embark
on their six-week tour of New Zealand."
New Zealand Rugby General Manager of the DHL NZ
Lions Series, Nigel Cass said, "New Zealanders pride ourselves on our
hospitality to international visitors and the event at Waitangi
will prove a unique and fitting welcome for the visiting British &
Irish Lions. As well as welcoming the team, we're also very
grateful to Waitangi Treaty Grounds for opening the event to
visiting fans and locals. It will make for a truly incredible
atmosphere and is set to be a highlight of the series."
Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.
See other recent