30 Jun 2015

Ten new caps in Maori All Blacks side

12:01 pm on 30 June 2015

The Chiefs midfielder Charlie Ngatai will again captain the Maori All Blacks rugby side, which features 10 new caps, in next month's matches against Fiji and the New Zealand Barbarians.

The Maori All Blacks will be playing Fiji in Suva in July.

The Maori All Blacks will be playing Fiji in Suva in July. Photo: Photosport

The squad was named this morning in Wellington and includes two sets of brothers in Marty and Damian McKenzie and Akira and Rieko Ioane.

The possible debutants in the forwards are Crusaders hooker Quentin McDonald, Waikato prop Josh Hohneck, Waikato forward Jacob Skeen and Blues and New Zealand under 20's loose forward Akira Ioane.

In the backs the uncapped players are Chiefs halfback Brad Weber, Chiefs first-five Damian McKenzie, Hurricanes and New Zealand under 20's first-five Otere Black, Taranaki and New Zealand under 20's midfielder Sean Wainui, Auckland outside back and New Zealand Sevens player Rieko Ioane and Taranaki outside back Codey Rei.

Coach Colin Cooper said the 2015 squad was an exciting mix of experienced hands and promising young talent.

It includes 13 players who took part in last year's tour to Japan and three members of the successful New Zealand Under 20 team which won the recent World Championship title in Italy.

"This is a well-balanced side with some very experienced campaigners 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 high standards we expect."

"We have a proud record of success to uphold and I am sure this side will work hard to honour the great legacy of the Māori All Blacks," said Cooper.

"It is very pleasing to introduce some exciting new talent to the 2015 side. Akira Ioane has really impressed with the Blues this year and both he, Otere Black and Sean Wainui are coming off the great win for New Zealand Under 20 at the World Championship in Italy so I am sure they will want to carry on that form."

"Rieko Ioane will also provide great pace out wide and he's hugely matured with the All Blacks Sevens this year despite still only being 18 years old."

"We've also seen how well Damian McKenzie has equipped himself in his first season at the Chiefs which is a huge test for any young man. He's shown incredible maturity so he along with his brother Marty who toured with us last year, will strengthen the backline," said Cooper.

The Māori All Blacks squad is:



Joe Royal Te Arawa/Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei/Ngāpuhi Bay of Plenty

Ash Dixon Ngāti Tahinga Hawke's Bay

Quentin MacDonald* Rangitāne Tasman


Chris Eves Tainui Manawatu

Brendon Edmonds Ngāti Kahungunu Hawke's Bay

Josh Hohneck* Ngāti Whātua/Ngāti Manuhiri Waikato

Ben May Ngāti Maniapoto Wellington


Hayden Triggs Ngāti Kahungunu Auckland

Jacob Skeen* Ngāpuhi Waikato

Blade Thomson Ngāpuhi Taranaki


Shane Christie Te Atihaunui a Paparangi/Ngāti Kurawhatia Tasman

Elliot Dixon Ngāpuhi Southland

Akira Ioane* Te Whānau-ā-Apanui Auckland

Heiden Bedwell-Curtis Ngāpuhi Manawatu

Mitchell Crosswell Ngāti Porou Taranaki



Jamison Gibson-Park Ngāti Porou/Ngā Tai Taranaki

Brad Weber* Ngāti Porou Waikato


Damian McKenzie* Ngāti Tūwharetoa Waikato

Otere Black* Ngāi Tuhoe/Te Whānau-ā-Apanui/Ngāti Tūwharetoa Manawatu


Jason Emery Ngāti Haua/Ngāti Maniapoto Manawatu

Charlie Ngatai (c) Ngāti Porou/Te Whanau-a-Apanui Taranaki

Sean Wainui* Ngāi Tuhoe/Ngāti Porou Taranaki


Kurt Baker Ngāpuhi Taranaki

Rieko Ioane* Te Whānau-ā-Apanui Auckland

Marty McKenzie Ngāti Tūwharetoa Taranaki

Matt Proctor Ngāi te Rangi/Ngāpuhi Wellington

Codey Rei* Ngā Ruahine/Te Ātiawa Taranaki

*new cap