Perenara walks the talk by visiting Ihumātao

By Hana Mereraiha, Te Ao - Māori News

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara showed his aroha for Ihumātao in true form on the field and in person.

Perenara visited Ihumātao turning the words written on his wristband in the into reality. 

Last night  the All Blacks half back came off the bench in the All Blacks' 36-nil demolition of the Wallabies at Eden Park, and his wristband stood out when he led the team's haka before the game commenced.

He told Te Ao news “I was so nervous first coming ay, I just had this fire in my stomach about needing to be here and then coming here I was at peace man.”

Perenara led the All Blacks haka before the game against the Wallabies at Eden Park. Bold writing on his wrist band showed out the word Ihumatao written on his wristband.

“I guess for me, wearing Ihumātao on my wrist was that, a sign of solidarity with our people, it's me showing my support and where my heart lies with it and that's what I can do from a far.”

Being here today with my whanau it's really sunken in for me for how important it is to be here, to be a part of it with our people with our whenua.”

This wasn't the first time Perenara has worn 'Ihumātao' on his wrist the season, but was the first time it attracted the attention of social media.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says, "It's his decision, it doesn't bother me, I didn't even notice it to be honest.  They write all sorts of stuff on their wristbands these blokes these days, I don't know what I'd write on mine if I had one."