Canada hoping for historic Maori All Blacks scalp
rugbycanada.ca and James Mortimer 03 Nov 2013 Getty Images
Few teams in the history of international rugby can boast such an impressive record and allure as the Maori All Blacks.
Comprised of players born with Maori genealogy, the Maori feature a lineup that would leave any rugby enthusiast salivating at the mouth.
Leading the squad on the field will be captain and centre Tim Bateman. The Super Rugby player and veteran of the Maori squad assumed the captaincy of the North American Tour when Tanerau Latimer was forced to step aside due to scheduled surgery on an injury.
Also featured on the roster is scrum-half Piri Weepu who was New Zealand’s second leading scorer at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Other returning players include hooker Hikawera Elliot, prop Ben Afeaki, flanker Shane Christie and fullbacks Robbie Robinson and Andre Taylor.
Thirteen newcomers including recently turned twenty-one year old wing Matt Practor will join the squad for the two game tour in North America.
From top to bottom, the Maori’s roster features a strong mix of the past, present and future for New Zealand rugby.
Since their first team was selected in 1910, the Maori All Blacks have played some of the rugby world’s classic matches including unforgettable games with the Wallabies and Springboks proving to be fierce challengers throughout the history between the two sides.
Historically, Canada has not fared well against the Maori All Blacks, much like the rest of the world. Canada has lost all four meetings against the Maori, with the most recent coming in November 2012.
When it comes to the international level, the Maori All Blacks have dominated.
Since 1996, the squad has only lost three matches against international teams. The side’s last loss to an international side came against England in 2003.
To date, only three countries, England, Wales and Australia have recorded victories against the legendary side.
Win or lose, Sunday’s clash will etch another chapter in the history of the Maori All Blacks.
From kickoff until the final whistle, Canadian rugby fans will be treated to an unforgettable display of rugby that has been carefully crafted and established for over one hundred years.
DON’T COUNT OUT CANADA
Kieran Crowley’s side are prepping for a big end to a positive 2013 with four games scheduled over 21 days in four different countries in November. The side – led by captain Aaron Carpenter of the Cornish Pirates – will feature a number of explosive, talented athletes, including Jeff Hassler, Tyler Ardron, Matt Evans and Phil Mack.
Last year, at Oxford University in England, Canada narrowly lost to the Maori All Blacks to end off their November Tour and will be hungry to better their record on Sunday.
Canada’s Roster for New Zealand Maori All Blacks Game
Tyler Ardron, (Ospreys/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Nick Blevins, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Connor Braid, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Hubert Buydens, (Saskatoon Wild Oats/Manawatu Turbos) Saskatoon, SK
Aaron Carpenter, Captain, (Cornish Pirates) Brantford, ON
Nanyak Dala, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Matt Evans, (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
Aaron Flagg, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Kyle Gilmour, (St. Albert Rugby Club/Prairie Wolf Pack) Edmonton, AB
Jeff Hassler, (Ospreys/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
Ciaran Hearn, (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Jake Illnicki, (Williams Lake Rustlers/Auckland Colts) Williams Lake, BC
Harry Jones, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Adam Kleeberger, (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) White Rock, BC
Phil Mack, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Jamie Mackenzie, (UVIC Vikes/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Ryan March, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
John Moonlight, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Pat Parfrey, (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Jon Phelan, (Lille Métropole Rugby/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
Mike Scholz, (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Andrew Tiedemann, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Conor Trainor, (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Liam Underwood, (Queens University/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Doug Wooldridge, (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON