Warren Gatland to prepare Lions players for Kiwi culture by making them watch Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Warren Gatland has said now that his Lions squad has been announced, preparations for the upcoming tour of New Zealand won't be solely on the practice field with a couple of Kiwi films needing to be watched as well. 

Gatland said that while the team is there for rugby, the Lions, who last toured here in 2005, need to earn the respect of the New Zealand public and the best way to do that would be to better understand us.

"Getting things right in terms of the community stuff, off-the-field and playing positive rugby," Gatland said today.

The Lions coach says the unique rivalry began when he took his son to the third Test at Eden Park in 2005 – with both an All Blacks and Lions jersey. Source: 1 NEWS

"A lot of teams that arrive in New Zealand, and I saw this in [the 2011 Rugby World Cup] weren't prepared for the stuff off the field. They weren't culturally and that's important."

Gatland said one key off-field area they would address would be Maori customs and powhiri procedures where a "couple of singing lessons" would probably be needed.

But the New Zealand-born Lions coach also wants his side to appreciate the broader culture in New Zealand and hopes some classic Kiwi films could be perfect case studies for the team to look at.

"I said to the staff and I'll say to the players, I think we'll watch a couple of New Zealand films," he said.

Gatland thought Taika Waititi's Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople were both top examples as well as Whale Rider.

"It kind of gives you an understanding of New Zealand, the people, the humour which is a little bit different, and if you can understand New Zealand - the intensity of the place and the opposition - I think it makes us potentially that bit better prepared."

"I'm not sure 'Once were Warriors' is the best example of New Zealand though."

The Kiwi coach says it's important the Lions players 'get an understanding of NZ, the people, their humour'. Source: 1 NEWS



'It's not something you think about' – Siya Kolisi not caught up in historic Boks captaincy

His captaincy may have been a historic moment for South African rugby but Siya Kolisi isn't letting it affect his game.

Kolisi made history in June this year when the Springboks played England at Johannesburg when he became the first black player to lead the side.

But the flanker says it was a moment he never thought of.

"It's not something you think about every day. Even now that I'm older, you don't wake up and say, 'I wish I could become Springboks captain'," he said.

"All you want to do is put on the Springboks jersey but now that I've been given this responsibility it's a great honour and a great privilege."

Despite winning the series against England earlier this year, Kolisi has begun his first Rugby Championship in charge with a rough string of results.

After a win at home against Argentina, the Springboks have suffered back-to-back away defeats by the Pumas and Wallabies and now face the All Blacks in Wellington this weekend.

Kolisi said the tough road trip just six games into his tenure as Springboks captain has been a learning curve.

"You've got to lift yourself, even if you're disappointed. When the team looks to you, they must see a confident guy that wants to take on whatever is coming their way.

"The one thing I like about myself is I'm not scared to learn from others who have been there or are more experienced than I am. I'm not scared of that."

Kolisi became the first black captain of the South African rugby side this year. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: All Blacks Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock get quality dad time in with adorable children on Wellington turf

They may be on the eve of another physical clash with the Springboks tomorrow night, but that hasn't stopped All Blacks Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock from taking some time out to enjoy time with their kids this afternoon in Wellington.

The pair, who have shared the All Blacks captaincy this year, were spotted playing with their children at Westpac Stadium today, ahead of tomorrow night's Test at the same venue.

It'll probably be the last time such an opportunity presents itself to the duo for a while, with tomorrow night's Rugby Championship contest being the All Blacks' final home game this year.

The pair had some well-earned downtime before today's captain's run. Source: 1 NEWS


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Beauden Barrett offered huge $2.6m-a-year deal by French club after 2019 RWC - report

All Blacks superstar Beauden Barrett has reportedly been offered a massive deal by a French rugby club that would make him the highest-paid player in rugby's history.

French newspaper L'Equipe reports the first-five has been offered a salary of €1.5million (NZ$2.6m) a year by French Top 14 club Lyon after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

The report says the offer was so grand that Barrett was forced to "postpone" looking at it rather than dismiss it completely.

L'Equipe also reported offers have been sent by Stade Francais, Montpellier and Racing 92 to acquire the services of the Kiwi star.

The 27-year-old has earned 66 Test caps for the All Blacks and his current deal with NZR ends after the 2019 season.

Barrett carried the bottles for the team against the Pumas and said he learned from the experience. Source: 1 NEWS

Other All Blacks reportedly on French clubs' radars include Sonny Bill Williams, Ardie Savea and Nehe Milner-Skudder with the likes of Wallabies stars Israel Folau and David Pocock also being approached.

The report comes after former All Black first-five Lima Sopoaga said earlier this week the world champions could see more young talent leave New Zealand to take up big paychecks in Europe.

"Things are starting to change and players are starting to wise up," Sopoaga told The Guardian.

"They realise that it's a business these days. A lot of us are starting to talk to each other more and talk about experiences and about how we can benefit from the game because it is a business and it can be pretty cut-throat at times.

"For a lot of guys like myself, who come from big families, from low socio-economic backgrounds the chance to change your family's life is pretty overwhelming.

"It's not something you should take lightly and sometimes the jersey is not enough for a better life."

The star first five helped out his teammates at this morning's training. Source: 1 NEWS


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Giving up already? Springboks captain says goal is 'to do their best' against All Blacks

Their coach's job may be on the line this weekend but do the Springboks have the self belief to win? That's the question after more perplexing remarks out of their camp today.

Days after coach Rassie Erasmus suggested his job was at risk and he would be happy with a "close loss”, today his captain Siya Kolisi agreed.

"He's being honest. He just wants us to give our best no matter the consequences," Kolisi told media today.

"As long as we can walk off the field and look each other in the eye and say, 'we gave it our best shot', – that's what he wants for us.

"Sometimes you don't get the results. You can have the best game ever and sometimes things don't go your way."

Off the back of two straight losses, the All Blacks aren't expecting a Wellington walkover. Source: 1 NEWS

The Springboks are entering tomorrow's Rugby Championship match on the heels of back-to-back away losses to Argentina and the Wallabies.

Kolisi says they've learned from those losses and are ready to move forward.

"We’ve got a good game plan and we're excited to give it our best shot.

"It’s not going to be easy but we’re really excited."

Tomorrow’s Test at Westpac Stadium, which kicks off at 7:30pm, will be the All Blacks' last home game of 2018.

Siya Kolisi backed up his coach’s comment that he’d be happy with a “close loss”. Source: 1 NEWS


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