Julia GrahamJulia Graham
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New Zealand Maori and The Lions

Kia Ora! (Hello!)

Britain and Ireland’s rugby elite are currently in New Zealand taking part in the 2017 British and Irish Lions Tour. Although the squad has faced some criticism for their performance so far and some key players have been sent home with injuries, the competition will heat up over the next few weeks as the first of three test matches against New Zealand (the World’s No.1) looms. Before each match, players such as Wales’ Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny, England’s Owen Farrell and Ireland’s Conor Murray will have to witness the intimidating, world famous Haka (a Maori ceremonial war dance) performed by the All Blacks.

The language of the indigenous people of New Zealand, Maori has been one of the country’s official languages since 1987. A 2013 census showed that 150,000 New Zealanders were able to converse in Maori.

Given that Maori culture and language is an important part of the All Blacks’ identity, we’ve compiled a list of useful Maori words and phrases to help the boys and any supporters during the tour!

Mauri Vocab

Welcome! – Nau Mai!

The guests/visitors – Manuhiri

Rugby Union – Hutupaoro

Let’s go team! – Kia kaha e hoa ma!

Full time – Whakatupuke

Conversion – Whana topawha

Try – Tarai

Scrum – Kirimiti

Forward pass – Maka whakamua

Knock- on – Taka whakamua

Ruck – Ketuketu

Try line – Paepiro

Kick off – Timata

Wing – Paehau

Hooker – Kaitīkape

Lock – kaiwhitiki

Openside flanker – Takirahi poutaha

Blindside flanker – kuti poutaha

Forward – Pou mua

Back – Pou muri

Centre – Topapu

Wales – Wēra

Ireland – Aerana

Scotland – Kōtarana

England – Ingarani

The Lions – Kapa Raiana

Since their first meeting in 1904, The Lions and All Blacks have faced each other in 38 Test matches in 11 Tours, 10 of which the All Blacks have won with The Lions only winning once in 1971. Could this finally be The Lions’ year?

To follow The Lions’ progress, visit: https://www.lionsrugby.com/

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About Julia Graham

I have a BA in French from Swansea University and spent a year in Toulouse studying at the Université de Toulouse. It’s no surprise that I also love languages! I also speak Welsh as my second language ? I am considered the office organiser as I love to keep things just so and I am also considered to be very much a perfectionist – I fit right in with my fellow language geeks. Every day is fascinating and I love working as part of our team, we are well known for being friendly and of course, we know what we are talking about.

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