Māori All Blacks squad to face British and Irish Lions named

Rotorua International Stadium is set to come alive when the Māori All Blacks take on the British & Irish Lions on Saturday.

Head Coach Colin Cooper named his side today to face the Lions in the fifth match of the DHL New Zealand Lions Series.

The team is (*denotes new cap);

1. Kane Hames – Tasman (Ngāi Tuhoe/Ngāti Porou)

2. Ash Dixon (captain) - Hawke’s Bay (Ngāti Tahinga)

3. Ben May – Hawke’s Bay (Ngāti Maniapoto/Tainui)

4. Joe Wheeler – Tasman (Ngāi Tahu)

5. Tom Franklin - Bay of Plenty (Ngāti Maniapoto)

6. Akira Ioane – Auckland (Ngāpuhi/Te Whānau ā Apanui)

7. Elliot Dixon – Southland (Ngāpuhi)

8. Liam Messam – Waikato (Ngāi Tūhoe)

9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow – Waikato (Waikato/Ngāti Maniapoto)

10. Damian McKenzie - Waikato (Ngāti Tūwharetoa/Ngāti Tahinga)

11. Rieko Ioane – Auckland (Ngāpuhi/Te Whānau ā Apanui)

12. Charlie Ngatai – Taranaki (Ngāti Porou/Te Whānau ā Apanui/Te Whakatōhea)

13. Matt Proctor – Wellington (Ngāpuhi/Ngāiterangi)

14. Nehe Milner-Skudder – Manawatu (Ngāti Porou/Tapuika)

15. James Lowe – Tasman (Ngāpuhi/Ngāi Te Rangi)

Reserves

16. Hikawera Elliot - Counties Manukau (Ngāti Awa)

17. Chris Eves – Manawatu (Waikato/Tainui)

18. Marcel Renata – Auckland (Ngāti Whānaunga/Te Aupouri

19. Leighton Price – Taranaki (Waikato/Ngāti Maniapoto)

20. Kara Pryor – Northland (Ngāti Awa/Ngāti Pikiao/Ngāti Rangitihi)

21. Bryn Hall* - North Harbour (Ngāti Ranginui)

22. Ihaia West – Hawke’s Bay (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngāti Porou)

23. Rob Thompson* - Canterbury (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Hawke’s Bay’s Ash Dixon will captain the side which features just two new caps in reserves, Bryn Hall and Rob Thompson.

All Blacks Akira Ioane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Rieko Ioane have all been included in the starting line-up, which also features players Cooper said had adapted well to each other and the game plan throughout the week. This included starting Waikato’s Damian McKenzie at first five-eighth.