Watch: Maori All Blacks Greeted At Thomond Park By Haka & Try Their Hand At Hurling
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It’s almost time for the Maori All Blacks to descend upon Thomond Park.
The New Zealand side are the latest in a long line of touring sides who have traditionally faced Munster at Thomond Park. The likes of New Zealand and Australia have visited the famouse ground over the years, with Munster famously defeating both sides in 1978 and 2010 respectively.
Maori All Blacks’ head coach Colin Cooper has made seven changes to the team that will take on Munster following their demolition of the USA Eagles.
The side includes five new caps in Reed Prinsep, Billy Guyton and Ambrose Curtis who will start, while Under 20s captain Leni Apisai and Waikato skipper Whetu Douglas will make their debuts off the bench.
Cooper said the win over the USA last week was satisfying but they were also looking forward to the unique experience of playing in Limerick.
“Our exit plays last week were particularly good and I thought that was the edge that we had over the US,” said Cooper.
“We played a lot of rugby in their half. But I think that Munster being another physical pack, particularly at lineout driving time, we will want to play the game in their half.
“We’re expecting a lot of physicality down the back so we’ll be looking to our bench to make an impact. This match is a huge game. I think every player at some stage in their career would like to play Munster in Limerick.
We certainly saw the passion of the people here and the stadium being sold out, Ireland beating the All Blacks at the weekend – it’s got everyone pretty hummed so it will be a mighty contest.”
The Maori were in Thomond Park yesterday ahead of the clash and were greeted by a special haka by CBS secondary school in Clonmel. The players also tried their hands at a spot of hurling.