The All Whites faced more questions about the haka today, ahead of the match with Russia on Sunday.

Various members of the team have faced inquiries all week from the Russian media, who are obviously fascinated by the traditional challenge.

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson and captain Chris Wood were asked again about it on match eve, in a packed match press conference at the stadium.

Wood played a diplomatic card.


"That's an interesting one," said Wood. "Predominantly that stays in rugby and it probably will stay in rugby for the time being because that is where it is based. So we will stay with that but we'll see how it goes."

The haka questions were typical of a varied press conference.

Hudson was asked 'you have said you want to win a game - which team is going to be your victim' and also if they were going to donate their tournament prize money to charity, like some nations have done in the past (the answer was no).

The All Whites coach also brushed off any concerns about the pitch for tomorrow's match. It is a completely new turf - and hasn't been played on - since home club Zenit St Petersburg refused to play on the previously laid grass over fears that it was unsafe.

"We have to see how the game goes [but] at the end of the game it is not going to be something that we are using as an excuse," said Hudson. "Our team has played on much worse in our journey to get here, hard pitches, extreme heat and [we are] good at adapting to that."

The global nature of this tournament was emphasized at the media gathering, with questions from German, Swedish, American, British and Brazilian journalists, as well as the large Russian contingent.