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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 27 June, 2019
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Watch: British and Irish Lions receive traditional haka welcome upon arriving in New Zealand

The Lions also sang during the ceremony.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

THE BRITISH AND Irish Lions squad have officially arrived in New Zealand for their summer tour, and they were greeted with a traditional Maori welcome to mark the occasion.

Following a long journey, which started in Heathrow Airport earlier this week, the team finally touched down in Auckland on Wednesday.

Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland, along with team captain Sam Warburton, led the visiting party into the arrivals area, where they were welcomed with a performance of the haka along with some other Maori rituals.

Source: RNZ/YouTube

Speeches were exchanged from both sides, before the Lions squad and backroom staff closed the ceremony with a rendition of a Welsh hymn ‘Calon Lan.’

Head coach Warren Gatland does a hongi on arrival Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

There was also an exchange of ‘hongi’ greetings as some fans looked on.

The Lions begin their 10-match tour on 3 June with a clash against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei. 

Their first test against the All Blacks is scheduled for 24 June in Auckland.

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