Cape Town - Maori All Blacks head coach Colin Cooper has made three
changes to his starting XV for their tour closing match against
Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday.
Whetu Douglas will start at blindside flank, Sean Wainui gets a run on the wing, moving James Lowe to fullback.
The Maori All Blacks are looking to end their tour on a high note
after their 27-14 loss to Munster in front of a sold-out Limerick crowd
at the weekend.
“We’ve gone for the most experienced team we can just because of the
way the game is played over here. We’ve had to re-programme to adjust
from playing the style of rugby we play back home to better adjust to
the way they play rugby up here. It’s been a good learning for the
players and for us as coaches. We turned up in Munster on the back of a
win in the US, and we weren’t ready for the style of rugby, particularly
given the conditions, we faced in Munster."
Cooper reflected on the tour and said the learnings would be
important as they build toward the Maori All Blacks fixture against the
British and Irish Lions next year.
“Knowing that the Lions will probably play a similar style, it has
been a good learning curve for us, and given us a good focus for our
training this week," he added.
“These guys here have a great opportunity to be part of the Lions,
but again, players in Super Rugby in 2017 will have a great opportunity
to play for a spot in the team, so that will be exciting to watch.”
Kick-off is at 21:45 (SA time).
Maori All Blacks
15 James Lowe, 14 Ambrose Curtis,
13 Matt Proctor, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Brad
Weber, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Tom Franklin,
4 Leighton Price, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Kane Hames
Substitutes: 16 Joe Royal, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Marcel
Renata, 19 Jacob Skeen, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Otere
Black, 23 Jason Emery/Marty McKenzie