Māori All Blacks to play Moana Pasifika

Māori All Blacks to play Moana Pasifika

The Māori All Blacks will play one game in 2020, against a team of players of Pasifika heritage, made up of current and former international players, and a number of players eligible for international Pasifika teams. This team will play under the name Moana Pasifika, the same banner used for the franchise that may join the Super Rugby competition from 2022.

The game will be played on Saturday, 5 December 2020 at FMG Stadium Waikato (Hamilton). Kick-off is at 7.05pm.

2020 Māori All Blacks coaching staff

Māori All Blacks Head Coach is once again Clayton McMillan (Bay of Plenty). The names of the assistant coaches haven't been published. In previous years, Roger Randle (Waikato Assistant Coach) was one of the assistant coaches.

2020 Moana Pasifika coaching staff
Moana Pasifika will be coached by Blues assistant coach, Faalogo Tana Umaga. He will be assisted by former Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger.

The 2020 Māori All Blacks squad

For this post, I've looked at the availability of players who have been capped for the Māori All Blacks previously, as well as potential new caps.

Below is the 2019 squad.
Strikethrough: players not or no longer available
Italics: players capped before 2019, who are available (in NZ)
*asterisk: possible new cap (playing SR and/or Mitre 10 Cup)

LH propHaereiti Hetet (in Fiji squad) ; Pouri Rakete-Stones (also TH); Ross Wright
HookerAsh Dixon (c); Nathan Harris (injured); Quentin MacDonald; Leni Apisai ; Joe Royal; * Kianu Kereru-Symes; * Tyrone Thompson
TH propTyrel Lomax (in ABs squad); Marcel Renata; Josh Hoheck (also LH); Namatahi Waa
LockIsaia Walker-Leawere; Tom Franklin (overseas); Pari Pari Parkinson (injured); Keepa Mewett; * Manaaki Selby-Rickit; * Matiaha Martin; * Josh Goodhue?
LoosiesAkira Ioane (6/8) (in ABs squad); Whetukamokamo Douglas (6/8); Mitch Karpik (7); Reed Prinsep (6/8); Liam Messam (6); Billy Harmon (7); Kara Pryor (7); * Ethan Roots (also lock)
HalfbackBryn Hall; Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi; Sam Nock; Jonathan Ruru; * Ereatara Enari
First five-eighthOtere Black; Fletcher Smith (also fullback); Josh Ioane; Jackson Garden-Bachop; * Lincoln McClutchie
Midfield backsAlex Nankivell; Sean Wainui (also wing) (injured?); Teihorangi Walden (injured); Rob Thompson (overseas); Rene Ranger; * Quinn Tupaea; * Rameka Poihipi
Outside backsJordan Hyland; Shaun Stevenson; Jonah Lowe; Nehe Milner-Skudder; Matthew Lansdown; Trent Renata; * Zarn Sullivan; * Bailyn Sullivan; * Matt Wright

Apart from a few stand-outs like Tyrone Thompson and Zarn Sullivan, I haven't included other first-year Mitre 10 Cup players.
I may have overlooked a few players of whom I didn't know whether they have Maori heritage or not.

So, assuming they'll pick a squad of approximately 26 players, who do you think they'll pick?

The squad will be named tomorrow, Monday 23 November 2020.

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