Foley haka tribute 'right thing to do'

Sun, 06 Nov 2016 07:41
Large ireland tribute to foley 800

REACTION: Captain Rory Best said Ireland's pre-match tribute to Anthony Foley was "the right thing to do" following his team's historic upset of New Zealand on Saturday.

In an emotionally-charged moment before kick-off as New Zealand performed their haka, Ireland's players lined up in a figure of eight - a tribute to No.8 Foley, the beloved former Munster and Ireland player who died suddenly at the age of 42.

"We just talked about it through the management and the players. This was the national team's first time together since his passing. We felt it was the right thing to do.

"We put the Munster boys at the front of it, to lead that. It was our way as the Irish national team of showing a mark of respect to Axel," he said, referring to Foley's nickname.

The tribute ultimately helped inspire Ireland to a remarkable 40-29 victory, the team's first win over New Zealand in the 111-year history of meetings between the two nations.

"There was a lot of emotion. I'm sure the Munster boys got a bit from that. It was just an emotionally charged occasion. We knew we had a great opportunity. We did a lot of work in the week to make sure we were bang on and could draw on a bit of that emotion," Best said

Agence France-Presse