Gatland happy for Lions to become 'familiar' with haka

Updated: 

Warren Gatland believes his British and Irish Lions side will benefit from becoming familiar with the haka in a succession of tour games before they take on New Zealand.

Last month, it was announced the Blues, Crusaders and Chiefs would each perform a pre-match haka ahead of their contests against the Lions.

As a result, the visitors will face the traditional war dance for the first time outside of Tests and fixtures against the New Zealand Maori.

"The nice thing is that players are going to get an opportunity to face the haka on more than one occasion," said Gatland.

"For me, the experience, the more times you face up to it, you don't mind it, it's a motivational thing; it's not intimidating.

"And I'm pleased my players will face it more than once. You become familiar with it. It becomes part of regular preparation for a game."

The Lions, who arrived in Auckland on Wednesday, face the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday in their first tour match.

That fixture represents the first of 10 for Gatland's men, with the opening Test of three against the All Blacks taking place on June 24.