Maori All Blacks coach Jamie Joseph has sprung a surprise by throwing a rugby lifeline to the disgraced former Hurricanes and Western Force back Willie Ripia.
Ripia is the only specialist first five-eighths named by Joseph for a three-match whistlestop tour of England in November.
Ripia quit the Western Force this year after being caught on CCTV footage allegedly stealing from his teammates to feed a gambling addiction.
Joseph says Ripia will thrive in the Maori team environment and he would not have been chosen if they did not believe in him. He says Ripia is an experienced player who has all the goods.
Tanerau Latimer has been named captain of the Maori All Blacks.
The team play Leicester Tigers, a Championship XV and Canada at Oxford University - all in the space of 10 days.