The Māori All Blacks squad, who are set to travel to Chicago, USA next month, have been named with 10 debutants amongst the 28-strong squad.
Māori All Blacks Head Coach Clayton McMillian said that despite the difficulty of the selection process it was exciting to see some players named for All Blacks duty in Japan.
“Some of these debutants have had incredibly strong seasons with their provinces in Mitre 10 Cup, and their Super Rugby clubs, so we are excited to see what they will bring to this tour.”
McMillan also says the team is excited to be returning to Chicago for a second time to play USA and knows they will be the biggest challenge on the tour.
“Rugby has been growing in all three countries, so there is an element of the unknown which is always hard to predict.”
The squad is set to meet up in the Bay of Plenty prior to their departure from Auckland on Sunday 28 October.
The 2018 Māori All Blacks squad is as follows:
Chris Eves (Waikato / Tainui North) - Harbour
Tyrel Lomax (Ngāi Tuhoe / Muaupoko) - Tasman
Ben May (Ngāti Maniapoto / Waikato) - Hawke’s Bay
Marcel Renata (Ngāti Whanaunga / Ngāi Takoto) - Auckland
Ross Wright (Ngāti Whātua / Ngāti Porou) - Northland
Robbie Abel * (Ngāti Wai, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Hine) - Auckland
Ash Dixon (C) (Ngāti Tahinga) - Hawke’s Bay
Jackson Hemopo (Tuhourangi / Ngāti Wāhiao / Ngāi Tahu / Ngāti Rangi / Ngāti Apa ki te Ra To) - Manawatū
Pari Pari Parkinson * (Te Whānau a Apanui) - Tasman
Isaia Walker-Leawere * (Ngāti Porou) - Wellington
Billy Harmon * (Ngāi Tahu) - Canterbury
Akira Ioane (Ngāpuhi / Te Whānau a Apanui) - Auckland
Mitchell Karpik * (Rongomaiwahine / Ngāti Kahungunu) - Bay of Plenty
Hoani Matenga * (Rangitāne / Te Whānau a Apanui) - Bay of Plenty
Reed Prinsep (Te Rarawa) - Canterbury
Bryn Hall (Ngāti Ranginui) North Harbour
Jonathan Ruru (Ngāti Kahungunu / Rongomaiwahine) - Auckland
Brad Weber (Ngāti Porou) - Hawke’s Bay