All Blacks haka: 'I wanted to burst out with a wero back' - Scott Palmer, Māori player who represented Italy at 2003 RWC

By Te Ao Toa

The Māori boy who played for the Italy national rugby team under All Black great John Kirwan, Scott Palmer (Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Pāoa) faced the All Blacks in 2003 at the Rugby World Cup in Australia.

As a Māori, he says, he had to contain his enthusiasm standing in front of the All Blacks haka as a member of the Italy rugby team.

"Especially being Māori, and growing up in Te Ao Māori. I went to Hato Pāora College, so kapa haka was a big thing down there. And being in front of that, there was a part of me that wanted to burst out and give them a bit of a wero back," says Palmer.

"Back then, it wasn't really a thing. I knew a few brothers done it later on playing with Munster, an Irish club., which was awesome when I saw that happen.  I was like, I wish I had of done that. But it probably would have looked a bit weird."

Palmer, who won 12 caps for Italy, spoke to Te Ao Toa presenter and former league international Adam Blair.