Māori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions

  • Never too early for selection discussion.

    With this match only a week before the first test, it could mean a lot of guys unavailable. Last tour it was a fortnight before the first test allowing Hayman, Holah et al to be available for both squads.

    I'm hoping Hansen let's some of the All Blacks who aren't starters or at least not in the 23 to be available. Cruden or Codie Taylor may be pushing it but Dixon and Squire could easily miss out on that first test so could be available. Damian McKenzie as well.

    As discussed in the other thread, TKB could well miss out on the AB squad considering the timing of this match, his exodus status and the stiff competition in his position.

  • IIRC on the NH tour last year the big weakness in the Maori squad was front row. What are our options there for this game? Hames? Elliott?

  • @Crucial Chris eves has to be one of the props I would think.
    I'm hoping it's a strong squad named

  • @Whites72 said in Māori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions:

    @Crucial Chris eves has to be one of the props I would think.
    I'm hoping it's a strong squad named

    Looking at the last squad i think it may have been more in the locks and looses dept that we could have done with more class.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see DMac running the 10 in this game. The other options (his brother and West) don't excite. That could also add credence to the idea of TKB at 9.

    I also think we will see Lowe and Proctor. Does anyone know if Buckman is eligible?

  • May would probably be the starting TH but the depth after him is thin. Renata was terrible.

    Locks were Franklin, Skeen and Price. I'm not sure there are others that could be picked that weren't in the frame last year.

  • @Bovidae joe wheeler is s option isn't he?

  • @Whites72 Yep. He was in Japan wasn't he?

  • @Crucial Otere Black is also an option at 1st 5. Assuming the likes of Cruden aren't available.

    I'd keep DMac at FB.

    Here's the team that played the USA. You could add in the likes of Wheeler, Squire, Elliot and Messam to the pack.

    1 Kane Hames Ngāi Tuhoe / Ngāti Porou
    2 Ash Dixon (Captain) Ngāti Tahinga
    3 Ben May Ngāti Maniapoto / Tainui
    4 Jacob Skeen Ngāpuhi
    5 Tom Franklin Ngāti Maniapoto
    6 Elliot Dixon Ngāpuhi
    7 Kara Pryor * Ngāti Awa / Ngāti Pikiao / Ngāti Rangitihi
    8 Akira Ioane Ngāpuhi / Te Whānau ā Apanui
    9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow Waikato / Ngāti Maniapoto
    10 Ihaia West Ngāti Kahungunu / Ngāti Porou
    11 James Lowe Ngāpuhi / Ngāi Te Rangi
    12 Tim Bateman Ngāi Tahu
    13 Matt Proctor Ngāpuhi / Ngāiterangi
    14 Rieko Ioane Ngāpuhi / Te Whānau ā Apanui
    15 Damian McKenzie Ngāti Tūwharetoa / Ngāti Tahinga

    16 Joe Royal Te Arawa / Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei / Ngāpuhi
    17 Chris Eves Waikato / Tainui
    18 Marcel Renata * Ngāti Whānaunga / Te Aupouri
    19 Leighton Price * Waikato / Ngāti Maniapoto
    20 Shane Christie Te Ati Haunui ā Pāpārangi / Ngāti Kurawhatia
    21 Brad Weber Ngāti Porou
    22 Marty McKenzie Ngāti Tūwharetoa / Ngāti Tahinga
    23 Sean Wainui Ngāi Tuhoe / Te Āitanga a Māhaki / Ngā Arikikaiputahi / Ngāti Porou

  • Edit: I've re-written this post.

    Looking at last year's Māori ABs squad, I expect many players for the game against the Lions to be selected from that squad.

    Exceptions will be injured players like Shane Christie, Jason Emery, Brad Weber, but possibly also players involved in the Highlanders v Lions and Chiefs v Lions games (which are 4 days before and 3 days after the Māori ABs game, respectively). Normally, you'd expect that playing for the Māori ABs is considered a step up from playing for their Super Rugby team, but is it when a SR team is playing the Lions (when SR hasn't finished yet)? Anyway, these games being such a short time before or after the Māori ABs' game may possibly affect the availability of Ash Dixon (unless Coltman starts for the Landers), Tom Franklin, Kane Hames and James Lowe; and maybe TKB and DMac. Unfortunately, the Lions tour is at the same time as the JWC, so that also excludes emerging talent from that squad.

    As James Lowe will be leaving overseas after the season, they could decide to leave him out and opt for an up-and-comer. I wouldn't mind that, if that would give Jonah Lowe a better chance of making the Maori AB squad (I'd prefer to have them both in the squad).

    If Buckman was eligible, he probably would have made the squad already? He never has, so I assume he's not eligible. When the Māori ABs played the NZ Baabaas, he was in the winning Baabaas squad.


  • There's enough quality across most positions. Last year the concerns were around depth at TH and the quality of locks.

    Renata has been getting the reserve TH spot by default in this squad for the last couple of seasons. But at this stage of his career he isn't consistently getting starts at NPC level. Is there another option?

    Locks should be a bit better with Wheeler back making a Highlanders 2nd row. The drop of down to the next Maori lock still seems quite large.

  • @Duluth fin hoeata? Or is he injured?

  • @Duluth I thought both Skeen and Price played well on the NH tour last year so I'm not that worried about the locks, even if neither are playing Super rugby at the moment. BTW, the starting locks in 2005 were Filipo and Hohneck as a comparison. TH prop is more of an issue because May can be inconsistent too, and the scrum will be an emphasis from the Lions.

    @Stargazer I'm hoping the Chiefs players are able to play both games as those Maori players are all starters for the Chiefs so should be able to switch back seamlessly. The short turnaround is the only issue. I wonder where Ngatai is with his concussion symptoms at the moment?

  • @Bovidae said in Māori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions:

    I thought both Skeen and Price played well on the NH tour last year so I'm not that worried about the locks, even if neither are playing Super rugby at the moment

    They weren't bad last year however the opposition is the step up. Also the timing of that tour was better for non SR players. They were coming off an NPC season, I presume this time it would be dev games and club rugby?

    It's a shame none of the tallish loosies have a history of covering lock

  • @Duluth said in Māori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions:

    It's a shame none of the tallish loosies have a history of covering lock

    Squire? If available, has surely deputised before.

  • So judging by the article linked below the Maori are likely to include...

    Back Three: McKenzie, NMS, Jane, Lowe
    Midfield: Ngatai, Proctor and possibly Rieko, plus Rob Thompson and Bateman
    First Five: Could Cruden get a run here if the ABs want to give him, Beauden and Lima all minutes that weekend? There's also Otere Black and Ihaia West
    Halfback: Whoever isn't in the matchday squad to face Samoa out of Aaron, TJP and TKB
    Loosies: Messam, Akira and Dixon if they use Luatua against Samoa
    Locks: Franklin and Wheeler. Is Cowley-Tuioti Maori?
    Hooker: Selector could give Coles or Taylor minutes here by using the other plus Harris in the Samoan matchday 23. Plus Hika and Dixon
    Props: Like the Cruden example, selectors could give Moody to the Maori while utilising all the Pakeha and Pasifika props against Samoa. Plus there's Hames, May and Eves

    Knowing how Hansen and Co operate they'd rather have squad All Blacks spend the week in camp holding crash pads than give them minutes elsewhere but it would be good if where there was a call between a Maori player and a non-Maori they let the Maori have a run against the Lions.


  • I hope the Maori are as strong as possible. They were quite disappointing last November I thought.

  • @Wurzel said in Māori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions:

    Locks: Franklin and Wheeler. Is Cowley-Tuioti Maori?

    I don't think so. The Cowley's are Samoan. And at a guess Tuioti is also Samoan. He would have got called up last year if he was Maori I think.

    Leighton Price to be the backup lock I think. At least he has been getting paid at the Blues to lift weights!

  • If that article above is close then that will be one hell of a strong side for the maori.

    A back three of NMS, DMac and Lowe? What a nightmare to defend against.

  • That Maori side in 2005 was fucking prime, so this side has a bit to live up to. Watching the highlights of the game the other day, the players on show were big names, and played their guts out, I'm not surprised they won.

  • Jono Gibbes trying to hobble off injured and then changinghis mind and rejoining the game and Carlos coming on in the second half are two highlights of the 2005 test for me.

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