All Blacks visit Hongoeka Marae

Last night was a very special night for both Hongoeka, Ngati Toa Rangatira and the All Blacks.

Captain Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks onto Hongoeka Marae

The All Blacks will travel to the Rugby World Cup with a fresh understanding of the haka and what it means to be a New Zealander following a special visit to our marae last night.

The 31-player squad and members of the management were reconnected with Ka Mate, our famous Maori challenge.

We can be very proud of the way in which we welcomed and looked after the All Blacks.  We wish them every success with the upcoming world cup campaign.

Ka Mate was composed by Te Rauparaha, in about 1820, and it has had a close association with the All Blacks, who in 2005 commissioned a new haka, Kapa o Pango, through Derek Lardelli of Ngati Porou.

The All Blacks' haka, and the traditional challenges of other South Pacific teams Tonga (sipi tau), Manu Samoa (siva tau) and Fiji (cibi) will be televised and amplified through speakers at the World Cup, which starts on September 18 at Twickenham when England host Fiji.