New Zealand Heartland XV squad named     21 Oct 2015    

The matches, to be played at venues in the North Island between 7–13 November, will see the team first play New Zealand Marist for the McCrae Cup before going on to face Australian Barbarians on two occasions.

The 25-man New Zealand Heartland XV squad, which has been selected from the Pink Batts Heartland Championship 2015, sees 10 of the 12 Heartland Provincial Unions represented.

The New Zealand Heartland XV squad for 2015 is:

Cole Baldwin (Wanganui)
Jackson Donlan (Mid Canterbury)
Matt Fetu (South Canterbury)
Ralph Darling (North Otago)
Timaru Tafa (South Canterbury)
Kurt Simmonds (Wairarapa Bush)
Adam Ross (Mid Canterbury)
Craig Moore (Buller)
Eric Duff (Mid Canterbury)
Fraser Hammond (Wanganui)
Bryn Hudson (Wanganui)
Peter Rowe (Captain) (Wanganui)*
James Goodger (Wairarapa Bush)
Hayden Anderson (Thames Valley)
Lindsay Horrocks (Wanganui)
Zayn Tipping (King Country)
Stephen Perofeta (Wanganui)
Tim Priest (Wairarapa Bush)
Moss Doran (Thames Valley)
TK Moeke (East Coast)
Lemi Masoe (North Otago)
Lance Easton (Thames Valley)
Tyrone Keith (Thames Valley)
James Hemara (King Country)
Mike Tambour (Horowhenua – Kapiti)

Wanganui flanker Peter Rowe returns as captain for a fifth time after having been at the helm in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Mid Canterbury’s Grant Keenan and Poverty Bay’s Mutu Ngarimu will coach the team. Keenan said they had the right blend of skill and experience for the team to be competitive in the upcoming series.

“Mutu and I are very excited with the squad that’s been selected. Each player has excelled for their respective province and deserves their selection in the side.

“We’ve selected a blend of youth and experience within the backline and a forward pack which will provide a strong set piece and physicality in the breakdown area.

“As a coaching group, we’re well aware of the quality of athletes that the touring Australian Barbarians will bring and understand that we each need to be at our very best during the upcoming matches in Levin and Wanganui.

“The New Zealand Marist XV will also provide a perfect build-up to the touring Australian Barbarians and will ensure we’ll be well prepared for our traditional rivals in Masterton on 7 November.”

The New Zealand Heartland XV squad will assemble in Wellington on 4 November ahead of their first match in Masterton on 7 November.

The Australian Barbarians team has been chosen from players that have played in the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship and have not been contracted to Super Rugby clubs in the most recent season.

New Zealand Heartland XV fixtures:

Date: Saturday 7 November
Who: New Zealand Heartland XV v New Zealand Marist
Venue: Trust House Memorial Park, Masterton
Time: 6.00pm

Date: Tuesday 10 November
Who: New Zealand Heartland XV v Australian Barbarians
Venue: Levin Domain, Levin
Time: 5.30pm

Date: Friday 13 November
Who: New Zealand Heartland XV v Australian Barbarians
Venue: Cooks Gardens, Wanganui
Time: 6.00pm