Sheftival: Sheffield Eagles to perform Maori war cry the haka

Dress rehearsal: Sheffield Eagles players practice the Haka before they perform it at Sheftival
Dress rehearsal: Sheffield Eagles players practice the Haka before they perform it at Sheftival
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ARE you brave enough to face the haka?

That is the question Sheffield Eagles are asking ahead of Sheftival, the city’s forthcoming festival of sport, music and culture.

Players from the Eagles rugby league team will be performing the traditional ancestral war cry challenge of the Maori people of New Zealand at the two-day event.

Eagles winger Tim Bergin said: “The lads are looking forward to getting involved in the festival and getting people involved in playing rugby league.

“We’re particularly excited about the touch rugby tournament as it’s always satisfying to see locals show the same enthusiasm when playing the sport as we do. I’m not sure I can say we’re looking forward to performing on the main stage though.

“The Sheftival organisers might regret asking us because the lads are not top dancers to say the least.”

Eagles fans can also perfect their rugby kicking skills at Sheftival with a masterclass from Eagles first team coach Mark Aston.

There will be a whole lot more going on besides.

Shefitval will take place at the Don Valley complex in Attercliffe on Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5, and has been timed to coincide with Sheffield heptathlete Jess Ennis competing for a medal at the London 2012 Olympics, as well as the men’s 100m final.

A Sheftival spokesman said: “We expect to welcome 50,000 people from all over South Yorkshire to join the celebrations.

“Our event programme is as lively, colourful and diverse as Sheffield itself.

“Where else can you watch more than 30 massive artists perform, take part in loads of sporting activities and watch the Olympic Games on a 48 sq metre screen?”

Sheftival attractions include a family area hosted by Sharrow Festival, a dance tent and a floating stage – the Buskers Barge, hosting acoustic gigs from a range of artists.

There will also be a music stage featuring performances from bands such as the Lightning Seeds and Dodgy.

More than 20 sports skills are also set to be demonstrated across the weekend.

* For details and tickets, visit www.sheftival.co.uk.