The New Zealand Maori Under-20 manager is predicting a real Fijian style of play when his side play the curtain-raiser to the Māori All Blacks game in Rotorua this weekend.

Mark Seymour predicts the Fijian Under-20s will bring the same high intensity style of play as their senior team at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday.

"Fiji styles, they are just going to give it a crack. They're very, very athletic, very sevens style, where everyone will be like a behemoth running with the ball. So, we're expecting a very expansive game.

"Alongside that, they will have a good bunch of forwards that are pretty capable. So, I anticipate a massive challenge and we will have to get things pretty well right in order to come away with respectability and a win."


There are five Bay of Plenty players in the squad of 22 and Seymour believes the team has the capability to come away with a positive outcome.

"Rugby is a simple game, against a team with flare like that, you've got to shut them down. A good way of doing that is keeping the ball close and take the opportunities as they present."

Under-20 Māori All Blacks team manager Mark Seymour. Photo / Supplied
Under-20 Māori All Blacks team manager Mark Seymour. Photo / Supplied

Seymour says one of the team's biggest weapons will be the home crowd and he is hoping local rugby fans will get in behind the team.

"It's massive to get that vocal support, because we know what our Pacific brothers and sisters are likely to come and support their team. They're very vocal and it would be nice to have whānau along to help counteract that."

The New Zealand Māori Under-18 Wahine and Tane Development Camp is also being held in Rotorua from July 18-21, to coincide with the Māori All Blacks fixture.

The two squads will hold a whānau day at Westbrook Fields, on July 20, from 9am-10am, then the women's team will play an exhibition match at 11.30am, followed by the men's team at 1pm.

The camp is one of a number of different events happening around the city in the lead-up to the Māori All Blacks' game.

Another event is the Horohopu 'Give it a go Day' at the Southern Trust Sportsdrome on Friday from 9am-1pm.


The event is free to children who register on the Ahurei Pasifika Facebook page.

Rotorua local and Horohopu facilitator Wharekahika Clarke says the Rotorua Fire Service and some of the Māori All Blacks are planning to visit the youngsters taking part in the event.

Horohopu, is a traditional Māori game for the whole family to take part in. The concept of the game is to throw and catch a poi toa from one player to another advancing up the field to score points.

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Maori Under-20 Squad
Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Te Ariki Te Puni, Jonas Pomare, Poukohe Sorensen, Tyrone Thompson, Tanara Haenga, Josh Hill, Leo Ngatai-Tafau, Keelan Whitman, Cortez-Lee Ratima, Leo Thompson, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Samuel Smith, Coel Kerr, John Croft Cooper, Kaipo Brown, Tamarau McGahan, Tobias Wickham-Manuel, Tahu Kaa, Zarn Sullivan, Isaac Bracewell, Callum Bean.