NZ Maori ready for first test

The New Zealand Maori All Blacks during the captain's run at ANZ Stadium yesterday. The team will meet the Flying Fijians today at 3pm at Stadium. Picture: RAMA

MAORI All Blacks assistant coach Roger Randle said the team had come together well and were excited to meet the Fijians this afternoon.

“They know this is a great opportunity to play a very good Fijian team in Fiji and we don’t get those opportunities very often,” he said.

“The players are really excited with one week’s preparation and we’re all looking forward in getting to the field.”

Randle added that having two Fijian players in Isaia Leawere and Haereiti Hetet will be a big boost to the team especially the two boys themselves playing against their home country.

“It’s an interesting time for all the players knowing they have supporters on both sides.

“There will be families out in the crowd cheering for the Fijian team and also cheering for our boys.

“I think for them it’s pretty a special occasion and I know the guys will do what they can to make it a good occasion for the people of Fiji,” the former NZ 7s star said.

The team during their captain’s run yesterday worked on their clarity and for the boys they are happy with their game plan and how they want to execute things.

Maori All Blacks head coach Clayton McMillan said they were happy to once again play against the Fijians.

“We have a proud tradition of playing the passionate and highly skillful Fijians,” he said.

“We have relished every one of our 29 encounters, and I know that they’re ranked in the top 10 in the world, Fiji will be playing with more than one eye on their Rugby World Cup campaign.”

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