This video shows the moment the British and Irish Lions received a stirring welcome to New Zealand’s North Island ahead of their 10-match tour of the country.
Head coach Warren Gatland and team captain Sam Warbuton were at the vanguard of the 41-man squad as they were welcomed in true Maori fashion upon landing in Auckland Airport this morning.
The welcoming ceremony is a tradition known as powhiri and was followed by the laying down of a challenge, which the Lions accepted. The ceremony also included waiata (Maori song) and hongi – the traditional Maori greeting.
The Lions players responded in equally bold fashion, with a rendition of Welsh hymn “Calon Lan”.
— British&Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) May 31, 2017
The Lions’ gruelling schedule includes three test matches against the All Blacks.
They will also face the likes of the Crusaders, the Maori All Blacks and the Highlanders during the tour.
Three Scots are included in the squad: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Greig Laidlaw.
The touring side haven’t won in New Zealand since 1971.
The first game, against Provincial Union XV, will take place this Saturday