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)
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.