Maori All Blacks prop Kane Hames will almost certainly be stopped from wearing strapping bearing a political slogan when the team face Munster in Ireland later this week.

Team management and New Zealand Rugby stopped short of saying they will order Hames not to pen any political messages on his playing gear, including strapping, after news articles highlighting that his wrist bandaging featured support for backers of the Standing Rock controversy in the United States.

The one-test All Black was seen wearing an armband with the words "Standing Rock" during his side's 54-7 win over the USA Eagles in Chicago on Saturday. He was showing his support for the protests in North Dakota which are seeking to stop the construction of a $3.7 billion pipeline through Native American land.

It's not the first time an All Black has shown support for a political issue. Former champion flanker Josh Kronfeld was stopped from wearing headgear he had painted a "No Nukes" sign on in protest over nuclear bombs.


However, mixing politics and rugby has been rare since and Hames is the only player do to so in recent memory.

Politics and rugby haven't been synonymous with each other in recent years and Hames might feel the brunt of that.

Luke Crawford, the Maori All Blacks' team kaumatua, said that while the political statement was Hames' personal choice, the team as a whole did not support individual issues and that Hames might not be able to wear the armband in the future.

"Players obviously draw inspiration and motivation in any number of different ways," Crawford said.

"While some players may support this issue as individuals, it is not part of our kaupapa as a team and team management have reminded players of this."

New Zealand Rugby also has set guidelines around what players can and cannot write on their apparel during matches.

According to NZR General Manager Neil Sorensen, "There's an expectation that staff and players do not involve themselves in conduct that may bring their employer, and the game, into disrepute."

Sport and politics have always been an area of consternation, but to avoid controversy, Hames might be forced to change the words he writes on his armband.


The Maori All Blacks are set to take on Irish club side Munster this Saturday.