The NZ Māori residents league team has been named for a match against Auckland in Rotorua later this month.
Ngāi Tahu's Manu Weepu is one of the successful players and senior sports reporter Rewa Harriman caught up with him today.
“I'm a builder by trade so massive hours working and a lot of training as well, I’ve come back from two big injuries, two ruptured ligaments and a torn calve so to get this is sort of a reward for the hard work I've put in.”
After relocating to Auckland to chase his league dreams, Manu was happily surprised at the news.
“I went to training the other night, and the trainer said congrats and i said what for, he said you made the Māoris, and I replied are you sure?”
But his decision to move away from Christchurch at the start of the year comes with huge sacrifice.
"Moved away from my son, he lives on the West Coast in the South so I've moved a wee bit further but it's cool there's still skype and technology that helps a lot."
After playing league in Christchurch for seven years, he's now playing for Mount Albert in the Fox Memorial Cup and training with the Warriors NSW cup team.
"Window of opportunity is running out with footy so i wanted to come up here and give it a crack with the NSW cup so I train there once a week and try and knock at the door and get an opportunity."