New Zealand Maori coach Donny Stevenson has named an unchanged starting line-up for Sunday morning's Churchill Cup final against Scotland A in Edmonton.
The only change is in the reserves, where Southland’s Pehi Te Whare replaces Wellington’s Cory Jane, who has returned to New Zealand for the birth of his child.
Stevenson said the team had a satisfactory build-up to the final.
“We came through our two pool games really well and we are excited about the contest against Scotland A. They beat England on the way to the final so they are a team that deserves respect,” Stevenson said.
“The weather forecast for the final is for showers and that may influence the way both teams approach the game. They have a good pack that can get them front foot ball so we have to stand up in that area and take that advantage away from them.”
“We have the attacking ability but we have to make sure that we deliver quality ball for our backs to work off,” Stevenson added.
The New Zealand Maori advanced to the final after wins over the United States and Ireland A in San Francisco.
New Zealand Maori team to play Scotland A: 1 Joe McDonnell, 2 Scott Linklater, 3 Deacon Manu, 4 Kristian Ormsby, 5 Paul Tito, 6 Jono Gibbes (captain), 7 Tanerau Latimer, 8 Liam Messam, 9 Chris Smylie, 10 Callum Bruce, 11 Hosea Gear, 12 Neil Brew, 13 Richard Kahui, 14 Anthony Tahana, 15. Shannon Paku
Reserves: 16 Luke Mahoney, 17 Mike Noble, 18 Thomas Waldrom, 19 Jake Paringatai, 20 Corey Tamou, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Pehi Te Whare
The match kicks off at 2.30pm Canada time (8.30am Sunday New Zealand time) and TV3 will have delayed coverage of the match at 12.00noon on Sunday.