13 Sep 2010

Traditional Maori ball game taken to Europe

11:31 am on 13 September 2010

Two teams of ki-o-rahi players - including rugby legend Buck Shelford - are off to Europe this week for a series of games, culminating in a test match in Paris.

The traditional Maori ball game is growing in popularity in schools and sports clubs in New Zealand and around the world.

One of the tour organisers, Harko Brown, says the group of 30 has been invited to play at London's Latimer Grammar School and Saracens Rugby Club.

The Maori and Pakeha troupe then move to Dieppe in France, where they will be billeted by local players whose forebears learned the game from Maori soldiers. They will also visit war cemeteries.

Mr Brown says the tour will help promote the profile of the game.

He says the group will also give kapa haka concerts in London, France, Germany and Poland.