Before the quarter-final match between New Zealand and Ireland, Beauden Barrett’s teammates performed their traditional haka. On this occasion, the Irish did not really “respond”, but rather paid tribute.
While the New Zealand players, as is the case before every match, performed their customary haka on the Stade de France on Saturday evening, the Irish took the opportunity to send a powerful message in their shock quarter-final clash. Forming an eight-man lineup with 23 players on the pitch, the World’s First Players paid tribute to Anthony “Axel” Foley, who passed away on October 16, 2016. “It’s been seven years since Axel died [Anthony] Foleyscrum-half Jamieson Gibson-Park confided after the match. So we thought this was the perfect time to form the eight again.
The third central line (hence the number 8) of the 15th Clover from the end of the 1990s to the beginning of the 2000s, he died of acute pulmonary edema in his hotel room in Søresnes (92). He came with his Munster county, of which he was manager, to play a European Cup match against Racing 92. Anthony Foley has won 62 caps for the Irish shirt. In 2016, the Irish had already fielded an identical 8 team before their historic success over the All Blacks in Chicago.