New captain for Maori All Blacks as tour squad named

Ash Dixon has been named as the new captain of the Maori All Blacks as they prepare to tour next month. Photo / Photosport
Ash Dixon has been named as the new captain of the Maori All Blacks as they prepare to tour next month. Photo / Photosport

Hawke's Bay hooker Ash Dixon has replaced Charlie Ngatai as captain of a new- look Maori All Blacks squad for their three-match tour in November.

Five of the six uncapped players are forwards, along with Tasman halfback Billy Guyton, for the tour which opens next week against the United States in Chicago.

The other new faces are Wellington hooker Leni Apisai, Northland flanker Kara Pryor, Canterbury flanker Reed Prinsep, Taranaki lock Leighton Price and Waikato lock/flanker Whetu Douglas.

Two All Blacks are in the 26-man squad. Halfback Brad Weber played a Test off the bench against Samoa last year while prop Kane Hames did the same against Australia in Sydney two months ago.

A notable selection is that of former Crusaders and Hurricanes midfield back Tim Bateman, 29, who hasn't played in New Zealand since taking up a Japanese contract two years ago.

Dixon takes over as skipper from Taranaki and Chiefs midfield back Ngatai, who is still recovering from concussion suffered late in the Super Rugby season.

The Chicago game falls one day before the All Blacks face Ireland in the same city.

The Maori side then travel to Limerick to face Irish club Munster on November 11 before concluding the tour against English club Harlequins in London.

Maori All Blacks:
Leni Apisai*
Tim Bateman
Otere Black
Shane Christie
Ash Dixon (captain)
Whetu Douglas*
Jason Emery
Chris Eves
Tom Franklin
Billy Guyton*
Kane Hames
Akira Ioane
Mike Kainga
James Lowe
Ben May
Marty McKenzie
Leyton Price*
Reed Prinsep*
Matt Proctor
Kara Pryor*
Marcell Renata
Joe Royal
Jacob Skeen
Sean Wainui
Brad Weber
Ihaia West.

*denotes new, uncapped players.

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