The rugby fans who performed the 'Yorkshire haka' are in Japan for the World Cup final

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A video of a group of rugby fans from Leeds performing a Yorkshire version of the haka has seen a spike in popularity ahead of the World Cup final.

The friends from Leodiensians RUFC in Alwoodley originally invented a Yorkshire version of the All Blacks' pre-match ritual in Auckland during the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

The group of 20 mates from a north Leeds rugby club originally performed the 'aka' in New Zealand in 2017 - now they're out in Japan for the World Cup final

The group of 20 mates from a north Leeds rugby club originally performed the 'aka' in New Zealand in 2017 - now they're out in Japan for the World Cup final

Their interpretation replaced the traditional Maori war chants with lyrics including 'where's me whippet?' and footage of them performing it outside a bar dressed in Lions shirts went viral around the globe.

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The group - which includes the middle-aged dentist who wore bunny ears in the video - flew out to Japan this week to support England, who will play South Africa in the final on Saturday.

They hope to perform their 'aka' again, this time dressed in England shirts.

Leodiensians vice-president Peter Drinnan, from Wetherby, has already returned from Japan having watched England beat Australia in the quarter-finals, but contacted his friends to ask them to treat fans in Japan to the special haka once again.

In the 2017 video, the mates wore flat caps as they enacted their choreographed routine in front of a crowd of drinkers. Finance director Peter was one of around 20 past and present Leos players who travelled out to support the Lions, and a number of them have also followed England in Japan this autumn. The footage racked up over a million views on Youtube, and following a spike in interest this week has shot up to six million.

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Peter assured onlookers that the recital in Auckland was respectful, and says that it was well-received by local residents.

After the video was shot, a Maori street warden approached the pals and faced them to perform his own haka, a gesture which Peter says was 'fantastic to see'.

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The travelling party included Lions supporters from all over Leeds and North Yorkshire, and they tried to perform the 'aka' in each bar they visited in New Zealand.

The All Blacks themselves perform a haka before every Test match, and base their challenge on the traditional Maori war ritual.