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Gatland: 'We haven't even spoken about the haka, we might do a W for Wales'

The Wales coach also joked his final game in charge should be settled by a drinking game.

Warren Gatland.
Warren Gatland.
Image: David Davies

WALES HEAD COACH Warren Gatland says his side have not discussed a formal response to the haka ahead of Friday’s third-place play-off with New Zealand at the Rugby World Cup. 

England formed a ‘V’ formation in response to the All Blacks’ war dance ahead of last Saturday’s semi-final win, and were this week fined €2,300 for crossing the halfway line as they stared it down. 

Speaking ahead of Friday’s consolation clash against the soon-to-be-deposed champions in Tokyo, Gatland said a response isn’t exactly foremost among his thoughts. 

“We haven’t even spoken about the haka”, Gatland told the media. “We might do a ‘W’ for Wales. It hasn’t really crossed my mind.” 

Elsewhere, Gatland joked the bronze medal match should be settled by drinking game.

The play-off is a dreaded fixture for the two beaten semi-finalists, and Gatland said he could see the sense in replacing it with a “boat race” speed-drinking game.

“I think Steve Tew (New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive) made a joke to Martyn Phillips (Welsh Rugby Union chief executive) that both teams should have a boat race and we could settle it that way.

“I can see the relevance in that.”

When asked who would win the boat race – where members of a team down beers in sequence – Gatland replied: “(Lock) Bradley Davies I think. We might have one after the game.”

Gatland changed nine players from their bruising defeat to South Africa as they get ready to take on the 1987, 2011 and 2015 champions in what will be his final game in charge of Wales after 12 successful years at the helm. 

 © – AFP, 2019   

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