Four Blues Selected forMaori All Blacks
Four Blues players have been included in the Maori All Blacks named to play Fiji and New Zealand Barbarians in July.
Lock Hayden Triggs and halfback Jamison Gibson-Park return from last year’s team while exciting brothers Akira and Rieko Ioane are among10 new caps named.
The team will take on Fiji in Suva on Saturday 11 July andthen meet New Zealand Barbarians at Eden Park a week later.
Coach Colin Cooper said the 2015 squad was an exciting mixof experienced hands and promising young talent. It includes 13 players whotook part in last year’s tour to Japan and three members of the successful NewZealand Under 20 team which won the recent World Championship title in Italy,led by Akira Ioane.
ìThis is a well-balanced side with some very experiencedcampaigners who have now played on several tours and know our systems well.I’ll be expecting them to lead by example and show the new boys the highstandards we expect.
ìWe have a proud record of success to uphold and I am surethis side will work hard to honour the great legacy of the M?ori All Blacks,îsaid Cooper.
ìAkira Ioane has really impressed with the Blues this yearand both he, Otere Black and Sean Wainui are coming off the great win for NewZealand Under 20 at the World Championship in Italy so I am sure they will wantto carry on that form. Rieko Ioane will also provide great pace out wide andhe’s hugely matured with the All Blacks Sevens this year despite still onlybeing 18 years old.
ìWe hope fans come out and support the M?ori All Blacks athome as we haven’t played in New Zealand since 2010. This is a top chance tosee some of the best players in the country test their skills against what weexpect to be a very strong Barbarians side.î
The team is, forwards: Joe Royal, Ash Dixon, QuentinMacDonald, Chris Eves, Brendon Edmonds, Josh Hohneck, Ben May, Hayden Triggs,Jacob Skeen, Blade Thomson, Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon, Akira Ioane, HeidenBedwell-Curtis, Mitchell Croswell.
Backs: Jamison Gibson-Park, Brad Weber, Damian McKenzie,Otere Black, Jason Emery, Charlie Ngatai (c), Sean Wainui, Kurt Baker, RiekoIoane, Marty McKenzie, Matt Proctor, Codey Rei.