June 28, 2022
Isaia Walker-Leawere, the son of former Flying Fijians forward Kele Leawere, is named to start for the Maori All Blacks against Ireland in a test match in Hamilton tomorrow.
Māori All Blacks Head Coach Clayton McMillan has named Leawere at lock and he will partner with Josh Dickson and Manaaki Selby-Rickit.
McMillan’s 28-man squad includes 10 debutants while Bailyn and Zarn Sullivan named together for the first time and three experienced All Blacks- TJ Perenara, Brad Weber who Captains the side and Tyrel Lomax.
The Māori starting pack features an experienced front row of loose head prop Ollie Norris, tighthead prop Tyrel Lomax and Kurt Eklund at hooker.
Debutants Tyrone Thompson and Jermaine Ainsley will provide impact off the bench, alongside Crusaders prop, Tamaiti Williams.
Billy Harmon, debutants Cameron Suafoa and Cullen Grace make up the starting loose forward trio.
In the backs, a strong combination of Brad Weber and Josh Ioane will take the field at nine and ten.
The midfield sees Rameka Poihipi and Billy Proctor start at 12 and 13.
The back three is made up of Connor Garden-Bachop on the left wing, Shaun Stevenson on the right.
A first for brothers Zarn and Bailyn Sullivan to be named in the same team, with Zarn Sullivan starting at fullback, while Ruben Love and Bailyn Sullivan injected to the bench.
The Māori All Blacks will take on Ireland at 7.05pm at FMG Stadium in Waikato.
Maori All Blacks to play Ireland: Zarn Sullivan, Shaun Stevenson, Billy Proctor, Rameka Poihipi, Connor Garden-Bachop, Josh Ioane, Brad Weber (Captain), Cullen Grace, Billy Harmon, Cameron Suafoa, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Josh Dickson, Tyrel Lomax, Kurt Eklund, Ollie Norris.
Reserves: Tyrone Thompson, Tamaiti Williams, Jermaine Ainsley, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, TK Howden, TJ Perenara, Ruben Love, Bailyn Sullivan.
By Romeka Romena