June International Tours

Preview: NZ Maori v Canada


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Four players will make their New Zealand Maori debut on Friday when the team kicks off its Churchill Cup title defence against Canada.

Otago prop Keith Cameron, Southland centre Jason Kawau, Canterbury lock Isaac Ross and Wellington prop Hoani Tui have been named in the starting line-up for the game at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton.

Canterbury midfielder Rua Tipoki will captain the side.

New Zealand Maori coach Donny Stevenson said the team had prepared well.

“We have had two weeks to prepare for this match which is ideal,” said Stevenson.

“The standard of rugby in the Churchill Cup continues to rise and we are delighted that we have a group of players who have played Rebel Sport Super 14 rugby or for a New Zealand team in the past.”

Meanwhile, Waikato loose forward Liam Messam returns home this weekend after he broke a bone in his foot during training earlier in the week.

He has been replaced by Taranaki’s Jarrad Hoeata, who played for New Zealand Sevens in Dubai and South Africa last year.

New Zealand Maori: 15 Shannon Paku, 14 Pehi Te Whare, 13 Jason Kawau, 12 Rua Tipoki (captain), 11 Anthony Tahana, 10 Callum Bruce, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Warren Smith, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Angus Macdonald, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Kristian Ormsby, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Luke Mahoney, 1 Keith Cameron.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Craig West, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 James Rodley, 21 Tamati Ellison, 22 Dwayne Sweeney.

Canada: tbc

Date: Friday, 25 May
Venue: Franklin’s Gardens, England
Kick-off: 20.00 (19.00 GMT)
Referee: James Jones (Wales)
Touch judges: Andrew Small (England), Andy Macpherson (Scotland)
Assessor: Brian Leigh (England)
Television match official: Rob Debney (England)


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