Coach Clayton McMillan has kept faith with the 23 that were comprehensively outplayed by Fiji last weekend, naming an unchanged squad.


There have, however, been a number of switches between the starting XV and the reserve players, with five bench players from last week getting a start this week.

Rangy lock Pari Pari Parkinson and number 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas take over from Isaia Walker-Leawere and Akira Ioane in the forwards. This will be the first professional game that Ioane has played this year where he hasn’t run out in the starting side.

In the backs, halfback Bryn Hall, midfielder Alex Nankivell, and wing Jordan Hyland all get a start. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Fletcher Smith and Teihorangi Walden drop to the reserves.

“We came away from that game in Suva knowing we had a lot to work on, but actually there were some really positive things for us to take out of that match.

“The focus for us this week has been to sharpen our combinations and obviously we need to have a solid defence as well as an assertive attacking game if we are going to get the better of Fiji.

“They (Fiji) are a highly skilled and organised side. We will want to show more of our flair, but we have to nail our structure up front if we want to be competitive.


“This is a special match for many of us who have never experienced the Maori All Blacks playing at home in front of our whanau and friends. We are very excited about having home crowd advantage and we really hope our supporters come out in force on Saturday,” he said.

The Maori All Blacks have played Fiji 30 times with the Maori recording a 20-8-2 win/loss/draw tally. Until last Saturday, the Maori team were unbeaten against Fiji since 1957.

Maori All Blacks: Shaun Stevenson, Jordan Hyland, Rob Thompson, Alex Nankivell, Sean Wainui, Otere Black, Bryn Hall, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Mitch Karpik, Reed Prinsep, Pari Pari Parkinson, Tom Franklin, Tyrel Lomax, Ash Dixon, Ross Wright. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Haereiti Hetet/Pouri Rakete-Stones, Marcel Renata, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Akira Ioane, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Fletcher Smith, Teihorangi Walden.

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