16 Jun 2010

5 changes to Maori starting side

10:39 am on 16 June 2010

The New Zealand Maori rugby coach Jamie Joseph has made 5 changes to his starting lineup for Friday night's match against Ireland in Rotorua.

Moving from the bench from the Barbarians match are Hawke's Bay prop Ben Afeaki, Otago lock Hayden Triggs, Waikato utility Dwayne Sweeney, Manawatu halfback Aaron Smith and Bay of Plenty number 8 Colin Bourke.

Hawke's Bay loose forward Karl Lowe, Taranaki first-five Willie Ripia and Wellington halfback Ruki Tipuna could all make their New Zealand Māori debut off the bench this week.

Joseph says the match against the Barbarians was definitely a good test for them and they came out of that game with areas they know they need to work on and that has been their focus this week.

The first ever game played by the New Zealand Māori Rugby team 100 years ago was in Rotorua.