Rugby: Maori All Blacks make three changes

James Lowe will move to fullback when the Maori All Blacks take on the Harlequins. Photo / Photosport
James Lowe will move to fullback when the Maori All Blacks take on the Harlequins. Photo / Photosport

Maori All Blacks coach Colin Cooper has made three changes to his side for their upcoming match against the Harlequins.

James Lowe moves from the wing to fullback, making room for Sean Wainui, and Whetu Douglas will start at blindside flanker.

The Maori All Blacks are looking to close their tour with a win after going down to Munster 27-14 last week in Limerick.

"We've gone for the most experienced team we can just because of the way the game is played over here," said Cooper.

"We've had to re-programme to adjust from playing the style of rugby we play back home to better adjust to the way they play rugby up here.

"It's been a good learning for the players and for us as coaches. We turned up in Munster on the back of a win in the US, and we weren't ready for the style of rugby, particularly given the conditions, we faced in Munster," he said.

Cooper said that the learnings from this tour will be important as the side look towards the 2017 British and Irish Lions series.

"Knowing that the Lions will probably play a similar style, it has been a good learning curve for us, and given us a good focus for our training this week.

"Players in Super Rugby in 2017 will have a great opportunity to play for a spot in the team, so that will be exciting to watch," Cooper said.

Maori All Blacks to play Harlequins:
1. Kane Hames, Tasman
2. Ash Dixon (Capt), Hawkes Bay
3. Ben May, Hawkes Bay
4. Leighton Price, Taranaki
5. Tom Franklin, Otago
6. Whetu Douglas, Waikato
7. Shane Christie, Tasman
8. Akira Ioane, Auckland
9. Brad Weber, Hawkes Bay
10. Ihaia West, Hawkes Bay
11. Sean Wainui, Taranaki
12. Tim Bateman, Canterbury/ Jason Emery, Manawatu
13. Matt Proctor, Wellington
14. Ambrose Curtis, Manawatu
15. James Lowe, Tasman
Reserves:
16. Joe Royal, Bay Of Plenty
17. Chris Eves, Manawatu
18. Marcel Renata,Auckland
19. Jacob Skeen, Waikato
20. Reed Prinsep, Canterbury
21. Billy Guyton, Tasman
22. Otere Black, Manawatu
23. Jason Emery, Manawatu/Marty McKenzie,Taranaki

Maori All Blacks v Harlequins
Wednesday 16 November, kickoff 7:45pm
Twickenham Stoop, London

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