The National Māori Under 18 team has been selected to play New Zealand Schools Barbarians and Tonga Under 18 later this month.
Chair of New Zealand Rugby Māori Board, Dr Farah Palmer, today announced the team which is made up of talented young players, many of whom were part of New Zealand Rugby’s (NZR) E Tū Toa in 2017.
E Tū Toa is a nationwide programme which uses rugby as a vehicle for young Māori to connect with their culture and learn wider life skills.
Dr Palmer said the national side was created to encourage talented young Māori to stay in rugby and provide them with development opportunities both on and off the field.
“The Under 18 Māori Team provides a genuine rugby pathway for rangatahi (youth) to step up from representing their regions to higher honours.
“What makes this team different is the connection of all players and coaches to ‘Te Ao Māori’ the Māori World. It’s the foundation of all our camps, with players and coaches learning waiata, haka and tikanga which enhance their wellbeing and achievements in rugby and life.”
This is the second year the Under 18 Māori team has been selected. Players from the 2016 side have gone on to represent their respective unions at the recent Jock Hobbs National U19 tournament, as well as achieving selection for other national age-grade sides and Super Rugby academies.
National Under 18 Māori team:
Thursday, 28 September
Assemble in Levin
Monday 2 October - Rugby Institute in Palmerston North
National Under 18 Māori v New Zealand Schools Barbarians
Friday 6 October – Porirua Park
National Under 18 Māori v Tonga Schools
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