They're packed in like sardines and drinking the bars dry.

The Red Army have announced their arrival to Rotorua ahead of the Lions' clash with the Maori All Blacks this evening.

Bars are already turning people away while music and singing can be heard from nearby camp sites.

But the pre-match highlight was the world record attempt at the biggest haka at lunchtime today.

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Lions fans embraced the traditional Maori haka with thousands of red jerseys spotted amongst the crowd of more than 7000.

Andy Walton and Stuart James don the #LionsInPink suits as they take Rotorua by storm. Photo / Heath Moore
Andy Walton and Stuart James don the #LionsInPink suits as they take Rotorua by storm. Photo / Heath Moore

Englishman Joey Speed told the Herald it was incredible to be part of a cultural event like the haka.

"It was incredible to get a taste of the Maori experience. Learning the words was a bit difficult but there were lots of locals who were friendly to us and helped us out."

Lions fans remain optimistic but acknowledge the Maori All Blacks have a wealth of talent.

"The majority of these players could be All Blacks or already have a Test cap to their name. Guys like Messam, Milner-Skudder, McKenzie, Ngatai, they're all explosive players. If the Lions can get up then they'll go along way to being competitive against the All Blacks, Edward Goodman told the Herald.

The game is sold out while bars and fan zones around Rotorua are expected to be at full capacity.