Senior Warriors forward Adam Blair has been confirmed as captain of the Māori All-Stars ahead of Friday night's clash against the Australian Indigenous All-Stars in Melbourne.

Māori head coach Stacey Jones confirmed Blair would lead the side out on to AAMI Park for the historic match and receive leadership support from the rest of the side's senior players.

"We've got a few leaders in there but Adam Blair will captain the team," said Jones.

"We've got Jesse (Bromwich), Kev (Proctor), Dane Gagai has experience there, James Tamou, so we've got players around that will support Blairy in the captaincy."


Blair was always the logical choice as skipper due to his vast experience.

The 32-year-old veteran middle forward is on the cusp of joining the NRL's 300-game club as he heads into his 14th season with 289 appearances to his name. He has also represented New Zealand in 48 tests and led the Kiwis throughout the disastrous 2017 World Cup campaign.

Jones, who also works with Blair at club level in his role as an assistant to Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney, says his captain has all the right qualities as a leader.

"He's a calming influence, he's a competitor, and the players respect him," he said.

"So those are the things you look for in a captain and there's probably a few other people that could have done the same job and there's four or five guys that will lead from the front."

Meanwhile, Jones is excited by the talent throughout his 20-man squad and happy to be working together with one of the game's hottest young stars in Newcastle sensation Kalyn Ponga.

Ponga's arrival into the Māori camp comes after he turned his back on the chance to represent the Kiwis and confirmed his allegiance with Queensland and Australia when he debuted for the Maroons in game two of last year's State of Origin series.

"He's very impressive. What you see on the footy field is what he's delivered in today's training," said Jones.


"He's got a good voice and it's exciting that we're going to see him play on Friday.

"He's put his hand up to play for his culture and we're happy to have him."

The versatile 20-year-old is expected to start at five-eighth but Jones indicated he could also utilise Ponga's speed and skill by switching him to fullback.

Both sides have the luxury of unlimited interchange for the first hit-out of the year and both Jones and his Australian Indigenous counterpart Laurie Daley will look to manage their players' workloads accordingly.

"We did a bit of homework knowing that he's been training in the six with Newcastle. I mean, Kalyn is not going to play a full game, none of the players will play a full game.

"So we'll balance it out. He might have a run at fullback if need be but we'd like to play these players where they're going to play (at club level), with (halfback) Jahrome (Hughes) maybe playing a little bit of fullback as well. We've got players that will cover if need be."