19 Dec 2008

New Zealand Maori rugby side dumped as part of financial cutbacks

6:05 am on 19 December 2008

There'll be no national Maori rugby side next year as the New Zealand rugby union looks to cut a million dollars from its national teams budget.

The rugby union CEO Steve Tew says the Maori side will be replaced in the Pacific Nations cup by the Junior All Blacks as

He says given the limited opportunities to assemble national sides in 2009 it's been decided priority will be given to the Junior All Blacks, as the country's second ranked team.

Tew says they are still looking to arrange matches for the Maori side overseas but they'll have to be revenue generating so as to cover the costs of assembling the team.

The Heartland fifteen, the national side selected from second and third division players has also been dropped, as has the men's provincial B side competition.

Tew says while the decisions were tough to make but the union's taking a sensible approach to its budget but is still predicting a loss for the next financial year.