25 Oct 2016

Six new caps named in Maori All Blacks

1:33 pm on 25 October 2016

Six new caps have been named in the Māori All Blacks squad to tour to the United States, England and Ireland.

Among them is the New Zealand under-20 captain, Wellington's Leni Apisai.

Māori All Blacks Head Coach Colin Cooper (Ngāti Pūkenga/Ngāti Porou) believes his squad has a good blend of "very wise heads, and a special crop of new talent."

Leni Apisai is one of six new caps in the Maori All Blacks.

Leni Apisai is one of six new caps in the Maori All Blacks. Photo: Photosport

"This team continues to be an important opportunity for players looking to push for higher honours.

"We are particularly delighted for Rieko Ioane who was named for the first time with the All Blacks on Sunday - and he joins several Māori All Blacks who have earned a call up to the All Blacks in recent years - Nehe Milner Skudder, Codie Taylor, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Joe Moody, Brad Weber, Elliot Dixon, Liam Squire, Damian McKenzie and last year's skipper Charlie Ngatai currently unavailable due to concussion."

Ash Dixon will take over from Charlie Ngatai in the captain's role.

Ash Dixon will captain the Maori All Blacks.

Ash Dixon will captain the Maori All Blacks. Photo: Photosport

"We continue to work closely with the All Blacks coaches to ensure that we are aligned and these selections demonstrate the strength of the Māori All Blacks as a high performance team."

"It's also good that both teams are in Chicago and the United Kingdom at the same time, so that we can retain that alignment," Cooper said.

The side will play the United States Eagles in Chicago, club sides Munster in Limerick and Harlequins in London.

The squad flies out on Sunday night.

Player Province Whakapapa

Leni Apisai * Wellington Ngāti Awa

Tim Bateman Canterbury Ngāi Tahu

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

Shane Christie Tasman Te Ati Haunui ā Pāpārangi / Ngāti Kurawhatia

Ash Dixon, Captain Hawkes Bay Ngāti Tahinga

Whetu Douglas * Waikato Ngāti Porou / Ngāti Whakaue

Jason Emery Manawatu Ngāti Haua / Ngāti Maniapoto

Chris Eves Manawatu Waikato / Tainui

Tom Franklin Otago Ngāti Maniapoto

Billy Guyton * Tasman Ngāpuhi / Ngāti Pikiao / Ngāti Raukawa

Kane Hames Tasman Ngāi Tuhoe / Ngāti Porou

Akira Ioane Auckland Ngāpuhi / Te Whānau ā Apanui

Mike Kainga Taranaki Ngāti Kahungunu

James Lowe Tasman Ngāpuhi / Ngāi Te Rangi

Ben May Hawkes Bay Ngāti Maniapoto

Marty McKenzie Taranaki Ngāti Tūwharetoa / Ngāti Tahinga

Leighton Price * Taranaki Waikato / Ngāti Maniapoto

Reed Prinsep * Canterbury Te Rārawa

Matt Proctor Wellington Ngāi Te Rangi / Ngāpuhi

Kara Pryor * Northland Ngāti Awa / Ngāti Pikiao / Ngāti Rangitihi

Marcel Renata Auckland Ngāti Whānaunga / Te Aupouri

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

Jacob Skeen Waikato Ngāpuhi

Sean Wainui Taranaki Ngāi Tuhoe / Te Āitanga a Māhaki / Ngā Arikikaiputahi / Ngāti Porou

Brad Weber Hawkes Bay Ngāti Porou

Ihaia West Hawkes Bay Ngāti Kahungunu / Ngāti Porou

* denotes new cap.

One more player to be added.