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. 

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

"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."

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.
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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."

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