Eight changes for NZ Maori v Ireland A     29 May 2007    

The changes in the forwards are in the front row, with a new-look trio of Craig West, Aled de Malmanche and Ben May, and in the second row where Hayden Triggs comes in for Isaac Ross.

In the backline, Tamati Ellison will start at first five-eighth in place of Callum Bruce and Dwayne Sweeney is at centre for Jason Kawau. Hosea Gear is on the right wing for Pehi Te Whare and Shannon Paku starts at fullback in place of Glen Horton.

Coach Stevenson said player welfare played a key role in the decision to rotate players.

“We are scheduled to play three games in eight days and on such a short and intense trip, it is important that our players are looked after. We have a strong squad with quality players and we don’t think the changes will affect the way we play,” Stevenson said.

He added that the 59–23 win against Canada in the first match on the weekend was the ideal start to the team’s Churchill Cup defence.

“We were determined to get our campaign off to a good start, and we achieved that. The key for us now is to build on that and ensure that we play good rugby to advance to the final. Ireland A will be a challenge and the short turnaround in matches will certainly test us,” Stevenson said.

Note: Scott Waldrom has been bracketed with Tanerau Latimer in the starting line-up. Latimer suffered a cut above the eye in the game against Canada. A final decision will be made tomorrow.

The game will be televised live on TV3 on Wednesday 30 May from 7.00am (NZ time).

New Zealand Maori team for game against Ireland A: 1. Craig West, 2. Aled de Malmanche, 3. Ben May, 4. Kristian Ormsby, 5 Hayden Triggs, 6 Angus Macdonald, 7. Scott Waldrom or Tanerau Latimer, 8. Warren Smith, 9. Chris Smylie, 10. Tamati Ellison, 11. Anthony Tahana, 12. Rua Tipoki, 13. Dwayne Sweeney, 14. Hosea Gear, 15. Shannon Paku

Reserves: 16. Luke Mahoney, 17. Hoani Tui, 18. Isaac Ross, 19. Jarrad Hoeata, 20. James Rodley, 21. Callum Bruce, 22. Pehi Te Whare