"Graphic" ... the All Blacks perform Kapa O Pango the haka introduced last year which features a throat-cutting gesture.
The New Zealand Rugby Union has asked the All Blacks to stop performing a pre-match war dance which ends with a graphic throat-cutting gesture.
The union asked the All Blacks on Thursday to defer performances of the haka, a challenge derived from the culture of New Zealand's indigenous Maori, while public objections to its aggressive symbolism were reviewed.
The haka titled Kapa O Pango, was first performed by the All Blacks before a Test against South Africa last year, in a surprise departure from Ka Mate, a haka the team has performed for more than 100 years.
The gestures associated with Kapa O Pango are more graphic than those performed in "Ka Mate," which tells the story of the warrior chief Te Rauparaha's escape from his enemies after a 19th-century battle.
Rugby union chief executive Chris Moller said he had asked the All Blacks to perform Ka Mate prior to Saturday's first Test against Ireland in Hamilton, while the use of the other haka was reviewed.
He said the final decision would have to be taken by the All Blacks players and management.
"We were aware of the reaction in some quarters of the public to Kapa O Pango and in particular to the gesture at the end of the haka," Moller said.
"We don't want it performed until such time as this issue has been worked through.
"Our strong preference is that until we have gone through a review and spoken to all the relevant parties, that the new haka is not performed," he said.
"But we cannot order them not to perform. That is not the best management practice."
The All Blacks refused to say on Thursday which haka they would perform but player Aaron Mauger indicated the team was unlikely to consider requests to amend either war dance.
"We talked about it the other day and that haka is an art and you don't change art to suit other people," Mauger said.
"So we are pretty happy with the way it (Kapa O Pango) was composed originally and if we are going to do it, we are pretty keen to do it the way that it was meant to be done."
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