Ireland will face experienced Maori squad

THE New Zealand Maori squad has been named for next month’s Centenary series — which includes a clash with Ireland — with former All Blacks Corey Flynn, Hosea Gear, Tanerau Latimer, Luke McAlister, Liam Messam and Isaac Ross all named.

The matches against the New Zealand Barbarians, Ireland and England are part of the celebrations to mark 100 years of the New Zealand Maori rugby team.

“It is a special honour and rare privilege to play for the Maori team and will be especially meaningful in this year of celebration.

“I would like to congratulate those players picked in the squad for the first time,” said New Zealand Maori coach Jamie Joseph, himself a former NZ Maori player.

“We are lucky to have a lot of experience in the team and they will ensure that those new players are quickly brought up to speed.

“We have a fantastic programme including two major matches against Ireland and England.

“They will be challenging games and will give players the chance to really make their mark and play the style of rugby the New Zealand Maori side is famous for,” he added.

Forwards: B Afeaki (North Harbour), C Bourke (Bay of Plenty), D Coles (Wellington), J Ellison (Wellington), C Flynn (Canterbury), R Graham (Waikato), J Hoeata (Taranaki), T Latimer (Bay of Plenty), K Lowe (Hawke’s Bay), L Messam (Waikato, captain), B Murray (Northland), C Newland (Hawke’s Bay), D Ramsay (Wellington), I Ross (Canterbury), H Triggs (Otago).

Backs: S Brett (Canterbury), H Gear (Wellington), S Maitland (Canterbury), L McAlister (North Harbour), W Ripia (Taranaki), R Robinson (Southland), A Smith (Manawatu), C Smylie (North Harbour), D Sweeney (Waikato), A Taylor (Manawatu), J Willison (Waikato).

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