5 Jun 2012

Name change allays former player's suspicions

7:33 am on 5 June 2012

A decision to rename the New Zealand Maori Rugby team has quashed a former player's suspicion that the code's union was planning to get rid of the side.

The New Zealand Rugby Union announced on Friday that the team will be called the Maori All Blacks.

A former player for the Maori squad, Bill Bush, says when he played between 1973 and 1982 that was the name.

However, he says it was not until the late 1980s or early 90s that the name changed to New Zealand Maori.

Mr Bush believes that name was a disgrace and an insult because he says the uniform and silver fern designs were created by tangata whenua.

He says he always had a suspicion that the NZRU was trying to axe the national Maori team, because it seemed not long ago the mana of the team playing in New Zealand was slipping away.

But Mr Bush says now that the announcement has been made, his belief has changed.