Rugby: Six players to debut for Maori

Maori All Blacks coach Jamie Joseph.
Maori All Blacks coach Jamie Joseph.
Maori All Blacks coach Jamie Joseph has handed run-on debuts to six players for the first match of their northern tour, against Leicester Tigers on Wednesday morning (NZT).

Making their first appearance for the Maori are Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon, Frae Wilson, Kade Poki, Charlie Ngatai and Kurt Baker, while Andre Taylor, Quentin MacDonald, Nick Crosswell, Jamieson Gibson-Park, and Declan O'Donnell are all set to make their debuts from the bench.

Joseph said the team had settled well and were eager to get their tour under way.

"We have a great group of talented players, and we have selected what we think is a very strong team to kick off this programme," he said.

"While many in our squad are new to the Maori All Blacks environment, we know that they are experienced Super Rugby and ITM Cup campaigners who we know will be competitive on the field.

"Playing Leicester in front of their home crowd will be something special, and we're really looking forward to this hit-out."

The Maori All Blacks team to face Leicester Tigers on Wednesday morning: Andre Taylor, Kurt Baker, Charlie Ngatai, Tim Bateman, Kade Poki, Willy Ripia, Frae Wilson, Elliot Dixon, Tanerau Latimer (c), Shane Christie, Jason Eaton, Jarrad Hoeata, Ben Afeaki, Hika Elliot, Ben May. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Jacob Ellison, Bronson Murray, Romana Graham, Nick Crosswell, Jamieson Gibson-Park, Jackson Willison, Declan O'Donnell.


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