LONDON – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Wednesday that he had enjoyed a “cool” time with the touring New Zealand rugby league team.
The Kiwis visited the Premier League football giants Melwood training ground ahead of their second Test against England at Liverpool’s Anfield ground on Sunday.
Klopp, who spoke to New Zealand coach Michael Maguire, was presented with a Kiwi jersey by prop Jesse Bromwich and looked on as the tourists performed the Haka in the canteen.
“It was great,” Klopp said. “They are a bunch of real sports guys. I think it’s the third time now that we’ve had the opportunity to host them.
“It’s really cool. They had a good session, I hope. They are always welcome.”
The German added: “We’re a very open-minded club, we’re open to learn from different sports.
“I’m interested in it actually. Obviously the sport is quite different, but it’s still interesting to talk and have a chat. I enjoyed it a lot.”
New Zealand utility player Gerard Beale, among the 2015 and 2016 Kiwi team that visited Melwood, said: “Each time it’s special.
“It’s a privilege to be able to come into Liverpool’s home and share their facilities. To mix and mingle and rub shoulders with some of the players was really special.
“They are famous, with people like Mo Salah, but the biggest thing was seeing how genuine and approachable they are.
“It’s cool that we could share the haka with them and we put in a good session, so morale is definitely up there.”
England beat New Zealand 18-16 in the first Test of a three-match series at Hull on Saturday.
WHAT A SIGHT!! 😛
The Haka is always special to witness.especially in the canteen at Melwood!@NZRL_Kiwis called into the Reds' base for a warm-up session ahead of Sunday's match against @England_RL at Anfield: https://t.co/QhQkNT1Raz pic.twitter.com/qhgqLKW228