6 Sep 2012

NZ Rugby League urged to invest in Maori players in Australia

7:45 am on 6 September 2012

A Brisbane-based rugby league coach is urging New Zealand Rugby League to put more resources into developing young Maori players in Australia - so they don't play for Queensland or New South Wales.

Hamiora Wanoa of Ngati Porou and Rongomaiwahine descent has been training young Maori players both in New Zealand and Australia for about 20 years.

He says if New Zealand Rugby League doesn't want Maori players playing in Australian jerseys, they need to be investing more time and money in them.

Wanoa says if Maori players living in Australia don't get that kind of support they are going to reject the New Zealand jersey for a Queensland or a New South Wales one.

He says they also want more games with New Zealand teams so there's more attachment with players based in Australia which will strengthen their Maori identity.