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PREVIEW: Brazil v Maori All Blacks

Marc Weakley

Lynn McConnell     09 Nov 2018     Marc Weakley

Match details: Brazil v Maori All Blacks, Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday (NZT), November 11, 10.15am.

Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)

FOUR CHANGES


Coach Clayton McMillan has given starts to prop Marcel Renata, flanker Billy Harmon, halfback Jonathan Ruru and outside back Matt Lansdown. Having joined the side after their trip to Japan with the All Blacks, tight-loose forward Jackson Hemopo, halfback Bryn Hall and centre Matt Proctor will come off the bench. McMillan said Brazil was new territory for New Zealand rugby teams and Sao Paulo had turned it on for the side. There was a challenge about playing in unfamiliar territory and that had been an incentive for the players. "Rugby might not be their No.1 sport here but you can clearly see that they are a passionate and proud people so we can probably expect an enthusiastic Brazilian opposition; they'll be athletic, and they'll love playing in front of a home crowd," McMillan said. With skipper Ash Dixon troubled by a knee injury, he had been bracketed with Robbie Abel, and if Dixon was unable to play Ross Wright would be the replacement.



BRAZIL BACKGROUND

Rugby in Brazil has been revitalised as a result of the introduction of Sevens to the Olympic Games, and also the creation of the Americas Rugby Championship. Brazil played their first Test in 1950 but play was spasmodic until two years ago. Since joining the six-country Americas competition in 2016, a competition originally involving four countries from 2009, Brazil achieved their first victory in their first season when beating the US Eagles 24-23. They finished fourth in the competition in 2017 by beating Chile 17-3 and Canada 24-23 while this year they finished fifth with a 16-14 win over Chile. They are ranked 26th in the world. The only top tier nation they have played is Argentina and Brazil are still to win after 14 Tests. The national side are known as the Tupis, the name of the main ethnic group of Brazil's indigenous people. The Duque brothers, halfback Lucas and second five-eighths Moises, have had trials for professional teams in France and since 2015 lock Luiz Vieira has been playing for Oyonnax 2nds in France.

TEAMS


Brazil: 1.Lucas Abud, 2.Wilton Rebolo, 3.Jardel Vettorato, 4.Luiz Vieira, 5.Cleber Dias, 6.Arthur Bergo, 7.Devon Muller, 8.Andre Arruda, 9.Lucas Duque, 10 Joshua Reeves, 11.Robert Tenorio, 12.Moises Duque, 13.Felipe Sancery, 14.Lucas Tranquez, 15.Daniel Sancery.

Substitutes: 16.Caique Segura, 17.Endy William, 18.Mathew Rocha, 19.Matteo Dell'Acqua, 20.Michael Oliveira, 21.Douglas Rauth, 22. Jacob de Wet van Niekerk, 23.Stefano Giantorno.

Maori All Blacks: 1.Ben May, 2.Ash Dixon/Robbie Abel, 3.Marcel Renata, 4.Isaia Walker-Leawere, 5.Pari Pari Parkinson, 6.Reed Prinsep, 7.Billy Harmon, 8.Akira Ioane, 9.Jonathan Ruru, 10.Otere Black, 11.Shaun Stevenson, 12.Teihorangi Walden, 13.Rob Thompson, 14.Jonah Lowe, 15.Matty Lansdown.

Substitutes: 16.Robbie Abel/Ross Wright, 17.Chris Eves, 18.Tyrel Lomax, 19.Jackson Hemopo, 20.Mitch Karpik, 21.Bryn Hall, 22.Josh Ioane, 23.Matt Proctor.