Rugby World Cup: Dropped Black Ferns captain Les Elder performs sideline haka to support team

You can take the player out of the Black Ferns, but it appears you cannot take the Black Ferns out of the player...

Former captain Les Elder may have lost her roster spot for the Rugby World Cup, but she's determined to do whatever she can to support her former teammates, as they try to defend their crown on home soil.

As the NZ women fired up for their tournament opener against Australia, issuing a spine-tingling haka on the Eden Park pitch, Elder, 35, could be seen shadowing the challenge from her vantage point as sideline commentator for Spark Sport and Three.

Her performance was captured on video and posted on social media.

"To be honest, I was a bit whakama [embarrassed] seeing this, but have also seen the beauty in it too," she responded on Facebook. "In the moment on Saturday, I seen my mates on the pitch, I could hear the 'backbone' girls doing the haka from the stand, and I felt the wairua [spirit] and just went with it.

"To confirm, I missed out on selection. I haven't retired YET, I am still training my ass off with a bunch of girls in the wider squad, so that if I'm needed, I am as ready as can be."

Part of the team that won the 2017 World Cup, Elder captained them on their disastrous northern tour last year, when they suffered record losses to England and France on the field, and a cultural meltdown off it.

With former All Blacks mastermind Wayne Smith assuming the coaching role, captaincy has passed to first-five Ruahei Demant and loose forward Kennedy Simon.

Check out the Rugby World Cup live on Spark Sport or free-to-air on Three, or join us at 3:15pm Sunday for live updates of the Black Ferns v Wales pool encounter