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Kiwi legends teach Americans rugby

Published: 7:17PM Saturday November 13, 2010 Source: ONE News

Teaching Denzel Washington the Haka was all part of a day's work as some famous Kiwi sportsmen took the gospel of rubgy to American kids in one of New York's roughest suburbs.

Michael Jones, Frano Botica and Tawera Nikau have been passing on lessons in rugby to kids raised on basketball and gridiron in the Bronx.

"What's really impressive is they're so passionate about rugby here in the States," Jones said.

"I mean we're in the middle of the Bronx, and you're getting young men and women that are just loving rugby."

The sportsmen also taught two-time Oscar-winner Washington a thing or two about the Haka yesterday.

"He asked about the Haka, he actually called it the hooker, but he was pretty close to calling it the Haka, so he was very privileged to do a bit of a Haka with him," Nikau said.

Botica spent time watching as the kids practised blocking tackles, discovering that it's not the hit that counts but the smile afterwards.

"These guys are real passionate about it, they're only lacking a few little skills," he said.

The footy legends have been trying to push rugby's profile in America, where it's the fastest growing sport.