Rugby: Former All Blacks hit out at overuse of haka

A number of former All Blacks have slammed the overuse of the haka in a new book, saying the pre-match ritual should be performed less.

The book, titled The Jersey, by British journalist Peter Bills, has quotes from many ex-players raising questions over the use of the war dance as they claim it has become more about commercial exploitation than tradition.

The haka has been performed by the All Blacks for nearly the entirety of New Zealand's existence as a rugby superpower, and some people claim it gives the players an unfair advantage.

In an extract from the book, ex-All Blacks Sir Colin Meads and Kees Meeuws reveal their own frustrations about the use of the haka.

"They haka everything now," says Sir Colin. "Some dignitary or sports person turns up or a film star at the airport and they haka them.

"It is ridiculous. I think it has become a celebrity thing. All the schools practise it.

"It should be done before games but as a form of respect to the Māori. We were haka-ed out there for a while and still are."

Meeuws says, "It has lost its mana.

"It has become a showpiece. They should do it at certain test matches but not all.

"It was good a few years ago when they had a choice. But now they play 14 test matches a year, and that's too much as far as the haka is concerned. We should either have it at home or just away from home like it used to be, not both."

All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka claims many players have said they're "haka-ed out".

"There were a lot of guys saying they felt we were haka-ed out. They said, 'We do the haka all the time; we have TV cameras in our faces.' They hated it. They said, 'All I want to do is get the damn thing done and over with.'"

The Jersey will be released on August 14.