Lowe at fullback for Quins clash

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 08:15
Large james lowe v munster 2016 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Head Coach Colin Cooper has made three changes to his Maori All Blacks run-on side for their tour-closing match against the Harlequins on Wednesday.

Whetu Douglas will start no.6, Sean Wainui gets a run on the wing, moving James Lowe to fullback.

The Maori All Blacks are looking to end their tour on a high note after their 14-27 loss to Munster in front of a sold-out Limerick crowd.

"We've gone for the most experienced team we can just because of the way the game is played over here.

"We've had to re-programme to adjust from playing the style of rugby we play back home to better adjust to the way they play rugby up here," Cooper said.

"It's been a good learning for the players and for us as coaches. We turned up in Munster on the back of a win in the US, and we weren't ready for the style of rugby, particularly given the conditions, we faced in Munster."

Cooper reflected on the tour and said the learnings would be important as they build toward the Maori All Blacks fixture against the British and Irish Lions next year.

"Knowing that the Lions will probably play a similar style, it has been a good learning curve for us and given us a good focus for our training this week.

"These guys here have a great opportunity to be part of the Lions, but again, players in Super Rugby in 2017 will have a great opportunity to play for a spot in the team, so that will be exciting to watch," Cooper said.

Maori All Blacks: 15 James Lowe, 14 Ambrose Curtis, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Tim Bateman/Jason Emery, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Leighton Price, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Joe Royal, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Marcel Renata, 19    Jacob Skeen, 20    Reed Prinsep, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Otere Black/Jason Emery, 23 Marty McKenzie.

Date: Wednesday, November 16
Venue: Twickenham Stoop, London
Kick-off: 19.45 (19.45 GMT; 08.45 NZDT Thursday, November 17)
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Local