Despite a disappointing loss to Fiji in Suva last week, Māori All Blacks head coach Clayton McMillan has kept faith in the playing 23.

The main difference this week sees five of last week's reserves picking up starting positions in Rotorua to show more flair and be more competitive.

Loose forward Whetukamokamo Douglas, halfback Bryn Hall, Alex Nankivell, Jordan Hyland, and the lofty Pari Pari Parkinson will run on for the Māori All Blacks this week. They swap with Akira Ioane, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Fletcher Smith and Teihorangi Walden who join hooker Nathan Harris as critical impact players from the bench.

Pouri Rakete-Stones has been bracketed alongside Haereiti Hetet.


The Maori All Blacks have played Fiji 30 times with the Māori side recording a 20-8-2 win/loss/draw tally. Until last Saturday, the Māori team were unbeaten against Fiji since 1957.

McMillan says the team learned a lot from last weekend's 27-10 loss.

"We came away from that game in Suva knowing we had a lot to work on, but actually there were some really positive things for us to take out of that match," McMillan says.

"The focus for us this week has been to sharpen our combinations and obviously we need to have a solid defence as well as an assertive attacking game if we are going to get the better of Fiji.

He said Fiji was a highly skilled and organised side.

"We will want to show more of our flair, but we have to nail our structure up front if we want to be competitive.

"This is a special match for many of us who have never experienced the Maori All Blacks playing at home in front of our whānau and friends. We are very excited about having home crowd advantage and we really hope our supporters come out in force on Saturday," he said.

The Māori All Blacks team (with iwi, Investec Super Rugby Club and province):
Ross Wright (Ngāti Whātua/Ngāti Porou): Northland
Ash Dixon (Captain) (Ngāti Tahinga): Hawke's Bay/Highlanders
Tyrel Lomax (Ngāi Tuhoe/Muaūpoko): Tasman/Highlanders
Tom Franklin (Ngāti Maniapoto): Bay Of Plenty/ Highlanders
Pari Pari Parkinson (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui): Tasman/Highlanders
Reed Prinsep (Te Rarawa): Canterbury/ Hurricanes
Mitch Karpik (Rongomaiwahine/Ngāti Kahungunu): Bay of Plenty/Chiefs
Whetukamokamo Douglas (Ngāti Porou/Ngāti Whakaue): Canterbury/Crusaders.
Bryn Hall (Ngāti Ranginui): North Harbour/Crusaders
Otere Black (Ngāi Tuhoe/Te Whānau-ā-Apanui/Ngāti Tūwharetoa): Manawatu/Blues
Sean Wainui (Ngāi Tuhoe/Te Aitanga a Mahaki/Ngā Ariki Kaiputahi/Ngāti Porou): Taranaki/ Chiefs
Alex Nankivell (Ngāpuhi): Tasman/Chiefs
Rob Thompson (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngā Rauru): Manawatu/Highlanders
Jordan Hyland (Ngāi Tahu): Northland
Shaun Stevenson (Ngāpuhi): North Harbour/Chiefs
Nathan Harris (Ngāti Hikairo/Waikato Tainui): Bay Of Plenty/Chiefs
Haereiti Hetet (Ngāti Maniapoto): Waikato
Pouri Rakete-Stones (Ngāpuhi): Hawke's Bay
Marcel Renata (Ngāti Whanaunga/Ngai Takoto): Auckland/Blues
Isaia Walker-Leawere (Ngāti Porou): Hawke's Bay/Hurricanes
Akira Ioane (Ngāpuhi/Te Whanau a Apanui): Auckland/Blues
Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (Ngāti Pikiao): Taranaki/Chiefs
Fletcher Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu): Waikato/Hurricanes
Teihorangi Walden (Te Atiawa): Taranaki/Highlanders