19 Feb 2009

NZRU still working on maori game in South Africa

6:47 pm on 19 February 2009

The New Zealand Rugby Union remains hopeful that a match between the New Zealand Maori and the Springboks will take place this year.

The NZRU had made inquiries that a Maori team would play the Boks ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour but South Africa Rugby says there are several obstacles to overcome with the main stumbling block being the long-established President's Council resolution forbidding the appearance of SARU teams against opponents selected along racial lines.

NZRU General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen says it is still early days and they know that there are a number of hurdles that need to be cleared if the match is to be confirmed.

Mr Sorensen says the President's Council resolution had not come up so far in the discussions between the NZRU and SA Rugby.

New Zealand Maori last toured South Africa in 1994, playing four matches against Vaal Triangle, Free State, Griqualand West and Eastern Province.

It has been suggested that the maori team could be called a cultural side to get around the race rule.