Maori All Blacks to take on historic South American tour

Getty Images     06 Jul 2018     Getty Images

New Zealand Rugby Maori Board chair Dr Farah Palmer confirmed the matches would round out the Maori All Blacks end of year tour schedule which kicks off in Chicago.

The Maori All Blacks will kick off their tour as the finale match against the USA Eagles men in a historic triple header with the Black Ferns playing the USA Eagles women and Ireland playing Italy.

“This is an exciting tour for the Maori All Blacks. Any time this team travels offshore they are incredibly popular, and they showcase the best of Maori heritage and Maori rugby.

“To play against Chile and Brazil for the first time ever is very special and will help us to develop our relationship with South America and, from a Maori perspective, connect with indigenous communities in this region.

“The Maori All Blacks have only ever played Argentina previously, and this is another opportunity for this team appeal to a few more South American hearts,” Dr Palmer said.

Agustín Danza, CEO, Confederaçao Brasileira de Rugby (Brasil Rugby) said:
"We are very honoured and thankful to host the Maori All Blacks on their first South American tour.

“For us to play the Maori All Blacks represents a dream come true, as it will be a game that will inspire the present and future generations of Brazilian rugby players.

“Also, Rugby is a fast-growing sport in Brazil and to host a game like this will no doubly help us grow the awareness of the game even faster.

“Lastly, but not less important, we are very happy to start what we hope will be a lasting relationship with New Zealand Rugby. We look forward to giving the MAB a great experience in Brazil."

Jorge Araya, President Chile Rugby said:
“Hosting the Maori All Blacks in Chile is a step forward in our game’s development. The main goal is to offer our players international competition that challenges them both individually and as a team.

“As an organisation, this game is also a big challenge, mostly on the logistical side as we have to comply with the highest standards to cater for a team of the strength of the Maori All Blacks.

“Being able to offer our fans this historical game is thanks to the coordinated efforts of World Rugby and Sudamérica Rugby (South American Rugby), where the work of our national team, its staff and our Union play a vital role, as much as the commitment of our players to prepare accordingly in order to enjoy the passion that this game will mean."

For more details about the end of year tour fixtures go here.

New assistant coaches

Just as the South American tour was announced, the Maori All Blacks have also confirmed their coaching group for 2018 with Roger Randle and Joe Maddock appointed as Assistant Coaches.

Maori All Blacks Coach Clayton McMillan said as former players, Randle and Maddock have the right mix of experience to bring to the Maori All Blacks.

“Both Roger and Joe have worn the Maori All Blacks jersey with pride. Their understanding of what this team means along with their coaching experience highlights the value they will bring to this group,” said McMillan.

It’s not the first time the three coaches have worked together, as they led the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians against the British & Irish Lions in 2017.

Randle and Maddock both currently coach Mitre 10 Cup, with Randle the Assistant for Waikato, and Maddock the Head Coach at Canterbury.

Randle, a two-time Commonwealth Games Gold medallist with the All Blacks Sevens, played two matches for the All Blacks and seven seasons with the Maori All Blacks. Currently coaching in Waikato, Randle was involved with the Japan Sevens team for their 2016 Olympic campaign and coached the All Blacks Sevens in Hong Kong earlier this year.

Maddock has been coaching in Canterbury for the past four years, having previously played 30 matches for the province and 16 matches for the Crusaders. In eight matches for the Maori All Blacks, Maddock scored eight tries before heading to Europe where he played for ten years.

Maori All Blacks jersey:
The ever popular 2018 Maori All Blacks jersey has been released into retail.

Named “Orokohanga” (origins), it represents humankind’s journey from celestial beginnings to a terrestrial existence. The graphics are a visual representation of what is normally expressed orally in the Maori world as pepeha (tribal axiom). Pepeha is how individuals connect to whenua (land) whanau (family) and wairua (spiritually) and is an important and integral part of the Maori world.

For more information about the jersey visit the online All Blacks’ Shop.

Maori All Blacks 2018 schedule:

Chicago, USA
Saturday 3 November
V USA Eagles (with Black Ferns v USA Eagles women)

Sao Paolo, Brazil
Saturday 10 November
V Brazil

Santiago, Chile
Saturday 17 November
V Chile