July 18, 2019

Maori All Blacks team to face Fiji in Rotorua

Six Gallagher Chiefs named in team

Maori All Blacks Head Coach Clayton McMillan (Ngai Te Rangi / Ngai Tamawhariua / Te Rangaihouhiri) has today named the team to take on Fiji in Rotorua this Saturday 20 July which includes six Gallagher Chiefs players.

The team is (with Province, Investec Super Rugby Club, and Iwi):

1: Ross Wright (Northland) - Ngati Whatua / Ngati Porou
2: Ash Dixon (Captain) (Hawke’s Bay/Highlanders) - Ngati Tahinga
3: Tyrel Lomax (Tasman/Highlanders) - Ngai Tuhoe / Muaupoko
4: Tom Franklin (Bay Of Plenty/ Highlanders) - Ngati Maniapoto
5: Pari Pari Parkinson (Tasman/Highlanders) - Te Whanau a Apanui
6: Reed Prinsep (Canterbury/ Hurricanes) - Te Rarawa
7: Mitch Karpik (Bay of Plenty/Chiefs) -Rongomaiwahine / Ngati Kahungunu
8: Whetukamokamo Douglas (Canterbury/ Crusaders) - Ngati Porou / Ngati Whakaue
9: Bryn Hall (North Harbour/ Crusaders) - Ngati Ranginui
10: Otere Black (Manawatu/ Blues) - Ngai Tuhoe / Te Whanau a Apanui / Ngati Tuwharetoa
11: Sean Wainui (Taranaki/ Chiefs) - Ngai Tuhoe/Te Aitanga a Mahaki/NgaArikikaiputahi/ Ngati Porou
12: Alex Nankivell (Tasman/Chiefs) -Ngapuhi
13: Rob Thompson (Manawatu/ Highlanders) - Ngati Kahungunu / Nga Rauru
14: Jordan Hyland (Northland) - Ngai Tahu
15: Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour/ Chiefs) - Ngapuhi

16: Nathan Harris (Bay Of Plenty/Chiefs) -Ngati Hikairo / Waikato Tainui
17: Haereiti Hetet (Waikato) - Ngati Maniapoto/Pouri Rakete-Stones (Hawke's Bay) - Ngapuhi
18: Marcel Renata (Auckland/ Blues) - Ngati Whanaunga / Ngai Takoto
19: Isaia Walker-Leawere (Hawke's Bay/ Hurricanes) - Ngati Porou
20: Akira Ioane (Auckland/Blues) - Ngapuhi / Te Whanau a Apanui
21: Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (Taranaki/Chiefs) - Ngati Pikiao
22: Fletcher Smith (Waikato/ Hurricanes) - Ngati Kahungunu
23: Teihorangi Walden (Taranaki/Highlanders) - Te Atiawa

McMillan has retained faith in the playing 23 that played Fiji in Suva last week, despite a disappointing 27-10 loss. In addition to a few positional changes, the main switch in this week’s team sees five of last week’s reserves pick up starting positions in Rotorua this weekend.

Among them are loose forward Whetukamokamo Douglas and halfback Bryn Hall, who along with Alex Nankivell, Jordan Hyland, and the lofty Pari Pari Parkinson will all run on for the Maori All Blacks this week. They swap with Akira Ioane, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Fletcher Smith and Teihorangi Walden who join hooker Nathan Harris as critical impact players from the bench.

Pouri Rakete-Stones has been bracketed alongside Haereiti Hetet.

“We came away from that game in Suva knowing we had a lot to work on, but actually there were some really positive things for us to take out of that match.

“The focus for us this week has been to sharpen our combinations and obviously we need to have a solid defence as well as an assertive attacking game if we are going to get the better of Fiji.

“They (Fiji) are a highly skilled and organised side. We will want to show more of our flair, but we have to nail our structure up front if we want to be competitive.

“This is a special match for many of us who have never experienced the Maori All Blacks playing at home in front of our whanau and friends. We are very excited about having home crowd advantage and we really hope our supporters come out in force on Saturday,” he said.

The Maori All Blacks have played Fiji 30 times with the Maori recording a 20-8-2 win/loss/draw tally. Until last Saturday, the Maori team were unbeaten against Fiji since 1957.

Tickets are still available for this weekend’s match. Click here for tickets from $20 Adult, $10 Child and Family Packs from just $60.

Story from: All Blacks.com | Kurt Gorrie

Maori All Blacks team to face Fiji in Rotorua