Fans perform Haka on Grafton Street as excitement builds ahead of Ireland v New Zealand

Fans Perform Haka On Grafton Street As Excitement Builds Ahead Of Ireland V New Zealand
New Zealand fans (left to right) Cruz Nicholls-Hepi, Daryl Owens, Adam Booth, and Zoe Hopa, who performed the Haka on Grafton Street Dublin on Thursday lunchtime.
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Michael Bolton

Excitement is building across the country ahead of Ireland taking on New Zealand this Saturday in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

A fixture that the All Blacks had dominated for years until Ireland got their first ever win over New Zealand in 2016, the tables have turned, with Ireland winning three of their last for games against Saturday's side, including a first ever series win in New Zealand.


However, it was New Zealand who ended Ireland's hopes of glory in 2019, with Joe Schmidt's side on the end of a heavy defeat in the quarter-final.

With new coaches, players, and a real sense of optimism in Ireland, Saturday's game is expected to be a very different occasion to four years ago.

One group of fans in Dublin made their support known for New Zealand by performing the Haka on Grafton Street.


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A post shared by Cruz Nicholls-Hepi (@cruz.nichollshepi)

The Haka, which is performed by the New Zealand team before every game, is seen as a war dance in Maori culture, that has become associated with the New Zealand rugby team.

Prior to the Haka, this group of people put an Irish flag on the ground, with an Ireland jersey on it, before people gathered to watch them perform.

There will be a connection between the two nations in the game, with three of Ireland's most important players, Bundee Aki, Jamison Gibson-Park and James Lowe will all start on Saturday.

Lowe had been doubtful due to an injury he picked up against Scotland, but has been named to start. Elsewhere, James Ryan has been ruled out through injury, alongside Robbie Henshaw and Keith Earls. Joe McCarthy is on the bench, with Jimmy O'Brien set to make his first World Cup appearance from the bench.

The All Blacks are set to name their team this evening

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