Maori All Blacks squad named for northern tour
allblacks.com 25 Oct 2016 Getty Images
The squad was announced by New Zealand Rugby Maori Board acting chairman Peter Goldsmith, in Wellington today.
The 2016 Maori All Blacks squad is (with * to denote new cap):
|Leni Apisai *||Wellington||Ngati Awa|
|Tim Bateman||Canterbury||Ngai Tahu|
|Otere Black||Manawatu||Ngai Tuhoe / Te Whanau a Apanui / Ngati Tuwharetoa|
|Shane Christie||Tasman||Te Ati Haunui a Paparangi / Ngati Kurawhatia|
|Ash Dixon, Captain||Hawkes Bay||Ngati Tahinga|
|Whetu Douglas *||Waikato||Ngati Porou / Ngati Whakaue|
|Jason Emery||Manawatu||Ngati Haua / Ngati Maniapoto|
|Chris Eves||Manawatu||Waikato / Tainui|
|Tom Franklin||Otago||Ngati Maniapoto|
|Billy Guyton *||Tasman||Ngapuhi / Ngati Pikiao / Ngati Raukawa|
|Kane Hames||Tasman||Ngai Tuhoe / Ngati Porou|
|Akira Ioane||Auckland||Ngapuhi / Te Whanau a Apanui|
|Mike Kainga||Taranaki||Ngati Kahungunu|
|James Lowe||Tasman||Ngapuhi / Ngai Te Rangi|
|Ben May||Hawkes Bay||Ngati Maniapoto|
|Marty McKenzie||Taranaki||Ngati Tuwharetoa / Ngati Tahinga|
|Leighton Price *||Taranaki||Waikato / Ngati Maniapoto|
|Reed Prinsep *||Canterbury||Te Rarawa|
|Matt Proctor||Wellington||Ngai Te Rangi / Ngapuhi|
|Kara Pryor *||Northland||Ngati Awa / Ngati Pikiao / Ngati Rangitihi|
|Marcel Renata||Auckland||Ngati Whanaunga / Te Aupouri|
|Joe Royal||Bay of Plenty||Te Arawa / Ngati Whatua o Orakei / Ngapuhi|
|Sean Wainui||Taranaki||Ngai Tuhoe / Te Aitanga a Mahaki / Nga Arikikaiputahi / Ngati Porou|
|Brad Weber||Hawkes Bay||Ngati Porou|
|Ihaia West||Hawkes Bay||Ngati Kahungunu / Ngati Porou|
Six new caps have been named in the side including this year’s New Zealand Under 20 captain, Wellington’s Leni Apisai.
Maori All Blacks Head Coach Colin Cooper (Ngati Pukenga/Ngati Porou) congratulated all those selected.
“This is an exciting time for all those involved in this special team.
“We’re delighted with the squad we have announced today – we think there’s an incredible mix of experience and very wise heads, and a special crop of new talent that has been exciting to watch in action in Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup.
“This team continues to be an important opportunity for players looking to push for higher honours.
“We are particularly delighted for Rieko Ioane who was named for the first time with the All Blacks on Sunday – and he joins several Maori All Blacks who have earned a call up to the All Blacks in recent years – Nehe Milner Skudder, Codie Taylor, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Joe Moody, Brad Weber, Elliot Dixon, Liam Squire, Damian McKenzie and last year’s skipper Charlie Ngatai currently unavailable due to concussion.”
Ash Dixon will take over from Charlie Ngatai in the captain’s role.
“We continue to work closely with the All Blacks coaches to ensure that we are aligned and these selections demonstrate the strength of the Maori All Blacks as a high performance team.”
“It’s also good that both teams are in Chicago and the United Kingdom at the same time, so that we can retain that alignment,” Cooper said.
“We are looking forward to heading to Chicago to play the USA Eagles. Playing any national side is an honour, and they’re a team that’s really cementing their place in international rugby.”
“Our matches against Munster and Harlequins will also be very special as we love taking the Maori All Blacks’ style of rugby to other countries.”
Five players still involved in Mitre 10 Cup Finals will join the squad in Auckland after their matches this weekend.
The squad flies out on Sunday night.
Maori All Blacks 2016 Match schedule
Friday 4 November v USA Eagles, Toyota Park, Chicago
Friday 11 November v Munster, Thomond Park, Limerick
Wednesday 16 November v Harlequins, Twickenham Stoop, London
Maori All Blacks pre-departure schedule
Wednesday: The Maori All Blacks assemble (except those involved in Mitre 10 Cup Finals matches) in Auckland, tomorrow, Wednesday 27 October.
Saturday: 1:30pm - Clarity run – vision and media opportunity, Blues rugby base
Sunday: 12.00pm - Vision opportunity at team photo session
11:10pm – Team flies out of Auckland Airport – NZ2
Coaching and management team
|Head Coach||Colin Cooper||Ngati Pukenga / Ngati Porou|
|Asst Coach||Tana Umaga|
|Set Piece Coach||Carl Hoeft|
|Kaumatua||Luke Crawford||Ngati Tuwharetoa / Ngati Porou|
|Strengthen and Conditioning Coach||Brad Anderson||Ngapuhi|
|Analyst||Jayson Ross||Ngati Kahungunu|