The Māori All Blacks know they have a lot of work to do if they're going to be competitive against Fiji in Rotorua.

Having not lost to the island nation in 1957, the Māori All Blacks were humbled 27-10 against Fiji in Suva last weekend as they were unable to slow down the Fijian running game.

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

"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."


For some, the match could very well double as a final audition for a spot in the All Blacks' World Cup calculations, with the likes of hooker Nathan Harris and halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi looking to reclaim their spots in the All Blacks' camp.

Neither made much of an impact in last weekend's loss and will see limited time in the reverse fixture as both are set to come from the bench. McMillan has made a number of changes to the run-on squad from last weekend, with five of last weekend's starters, including Tahuriorangi, moving to the bench.

Halfback Bryn Hall is among those who have been moved into the starting line-up for the game after having a noticeable impact on the team in his late cameo last time out.

"[Fiji] are a highly skilled and organised side," McMillan said. "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 Māori 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."

Fiji will also field a new-look side for the match, with 11 new players added to an extended 26-man squad for the game.

Head coach John McKee said it was important to give all the players the game time ahead of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"It was always the intention across these two matches to give players in our squad opportunity and game time in the lead up to the Pacific Nations Cup."


"It is important that these players grab this chance and make a strong statement."

Māori All Blacks: Shaun Stevenson, Jordan Hyland, Rob Thompson, Alex Nankivell, Sean Wainui, Otere Black, Bryn Hall, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Mitch Karpik, Reed Prinsep, Pari Pari Parkinson, Tom Franklin, Tyrel Lomax, Ash Dixon, Ross Wright. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Haereiti Hetet, Marcel Renata, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Akira Ioane, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Fletcher Smith, Teihorangi Walden.

Fiji: Kini Murimurivalu, Patrick Osbourne, Waisea Nayacalevu, Jale Vatubua, Filipo Nakosi, Alivereti Veitokani, Henry Seniloli, Nemani Nagusa, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Veremalua Vugakoto, Campese Ma'afu. Reserves: Samuel Matavesi, Joeli Veitayaki, Luke Tagi, Albert Tuisue, John Dyer, Serupepeli Vularika, Sevanaia Galala, Josh Matavesi.