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McMillan names a strong team against the Flying Fijians

July 11, 2019 12:55 pm

Maori All Blacks head Coach Clayton McMillan says the team is acutely aware of the challenge that’s ahead of them.

He says there is an itch in players whilst training because they know how strong the Flying Fijians are.

“We know how strong the flying Fijians are going to be so I wouldn’t imagine it is going to be a lopsided affair one way or the other.”

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Meanwhile, McMillan has named a strong side to take on Fiji this Saturday with fullback Fletcher Smith the only debutant named to start.

The other four new caps will notch up their first Maori matches from the bench –hooker Nathan Harris, outside backs Alex Nankivell and Jordan Hyland and young Waikato prop Haereiti Hetet who was called into the squad this week.

The Maori All Blacks have played Fiji 29 times with the Maori recording 20 wins, Fiji seven wins and two draws.

The Maori team are unbeaten against Fiji since 1957 including their last encounter in Suva four years ago. That day the Maori All Blacks sneaked ahead 27-26 to break Fijian hearts.

Maori All Blacks Squad
1. Ross Wright

2. Ash Dixon (Captain)

3. Tyrel Lomax

4. Isaia Walker-Leawere

5. Tom Franklin

6. Reed Prinsep

7. Mitch Karpik

8. Akira Ioane

9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

10. Otere Black

11. Sean Wainui

12. Teihorangi Walden

13. Rob Thompson

14. Shaun Stevenson

15. Fletcher Smith

16. Nathan Harris

17: Haereiti Hetet

18. Marcel Renata

19. Pari Pari Parkinson

20. Whetukamokamo Douglas

21: Bryn Hall

22. Alex Nankivell

23. Jordan Hyland

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