Championship XV v Maori All Blacks preview

15/11/2012

Nathan v the Natives

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This weekend the RFU Championship XV will take on the Maori All Blacks at Doncaster Kinght's Castle Park ground. Kick-off is at 12.05pm and the game will be televised live on Sky Sports, providing a valuable chance to showcase the second tier of the game in England - the Championship remains without a sponsor.

For Jersey, interest centres on the towering figure of Island captain Nathan Hannay, who has been selected for the Championship squad, in which he is (equal with fellow lock Nic Rouse) the tallest player at 1.98metres.

Nathan

Nathan, 28, joined Jersey from Launceston in summer 2010 and has played more than 40 games for Jersey, scoring four tries. He was appointed captain in August 2012. The Maori match takes place in the county of his birth (he was born in Halifax, Yorkshire), but Nathan was brought up in Devon and a contingent of family and friends are travelling up from the south-west for the game.

The 23-man Championship squad is made up entirely of English Qualified Players, drawn from all 12 Championship clubs, and reflects the wealth of talent on offer in the RFU Championship.

Pies, peas and Kiwis - watch the game in style at JRFC

The Championship XV game is being shown live at the Jersey RFC clubhouse will be open from 11am. The game starts at 12.05pm, and lunch of pie, chips, peas and gravy will be available at a cost of £4. Later on there will the Autumn International between England and Australia on the big screen (KO 2.30pm).

Maori All Blacks tour

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Details of the Maori squad can be seen here.

The first match of the tour was a game against Leicester Tigers on Tuesday (Nov 13).

Leicester Tigers 32 (Niall Morris, Adam Thompstone tries; George Ford 2 con, 6 pen) Maori All Blacks 24 (Frae Wilson, Tim Batemen, Charlie Ngatai tries; Willie Ripia 3 con, pen). HT: 26-17

The Tigers' match report of the game can be found here.

The third and final match of the tour will be a match against Canada to be played at Oxford University on November 23.

Brief History of NZ Maoris/ Maori All Blacks

In 1888-89, the 'New Zealand Natives' were the first overseas team to tour the Home Nations, playing a mammoth total of 74 games for 49 wins, five drawn games, and 20 losses. Ireland were beaten (13-4) in Dublin, but Wales won (5-0) in Swansea, and England won (7-0) at Blackheath.

Haka
The Haka performed at Welford Road ("The Tigers Academy seems to be getting younger and younger" said 'Steve@Mose' on Rolling Maul)

One of the New Zealand Natives' greatest legacies was the haka, a traditional Maori posture dance with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet, to the accompaniment of rhythmically shouted words; this was first performed during a match on 3 October against Surrey. The haka was later adopted by the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks, as were their black shirts (previous New Zealand sides had worn navy blue).

Since being given official status in 1910, the New Zealand Maori have produced some of world rugby union's most outstanding athletes, including fullback George Nepia who played 46 games for the All Blacks from 1924-30, halfback Sid Going who played 86 matches for his country and former All Blacks captain Tane Norton, who represented New Zealand in 61 games, including 27 tests, and later became President of the New Zealand Rugby Union.

In October and November 1982 the Maori made a seven-match tour to Wales under the captaincy of Paul Quinn, winning three of their games. They lost 19-25 to the Welsh national team.

In 2001, the Maori first performed the "Timatanga" haka, which describes the evolution of life and the creation of New Zealand from the four winds.

The team lost only four of its 26 games played between 1994 and 2004, including beating England, Argentina, Scotland and Fiji. The M?ori continued their winning form in 2004 beating England A (now known as England Saxons) in extra time in the final of the Churchill Cup in Canada.

In 2005 the Maori beat the British and Irish Lions for the first time in an official match.

The NZ Maori competed regularly in the annual Churchill Cup competition. In 2007 the team suffered a rare defeat by England Saxons by 17-13, but this was one of only two defeats in their last 24 games, the second coming on Tuesday at Leicester.

The team name was officially changed to the Maori All Blacks in June 2012.

The Championship XV squad

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The team was announced on Friday morning just before the traditional 'captain's run' final training session. And Nathan? He's in...

15. D. Mama; 14. R. Crane, 13.T. Streather, 12.C. Hayter 11.J. Bassett; 10.T. Roberts, 9.G. Cattle ©; 1.M. Irish, 2.J. Vickers, 3.A. Paver, 4.N. Hannay, 5. N. Rouse, 6.J. Rowan, 7.P. Burgess, 8.B. Piennar

16. T. Stagg 17. T. Davies 18. O. Tomaszczyk 19. C. Green 20. R. Burrows 21. L. Baldwin 22. J. Sharpe 23. M. Atkinson

The squad list, and players' vital stats, is below.

Head Coach: Mike Rayer (Bedford Blues)
Assistant Coaches: Ian Davies (Cornish Pirates) and Diccon Edwards (Leeds Carnegie)

Mark Atkinson (Bedford Blues)
Position: Fly half/Centre
D.O.B: 8.03.1990
Height: 1.91m
Weight 97kg

Luke Baldwin (Bedford Blues)
Position: Scrum Half
D.O.B 15.09.1990
Height: 1.74m
Weight: 82kg

Josh Bassett (Bedford Blues)
Position: Wing
D.O.B 17.03.1992
Height: 1.90m
Weight: 93kg

Phil Burgess (Cornish Pirates)
Position: Back row
D.O.B: 01.07.1988
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 95.3 kg

Ryan Burrows (Leeds Carnegie)
Position: No.8
DOB: 24.04.1988
Height: 1.93 m
Weight: 105 kg

Gavin Cattle (Cornish Pirates, Captain)
Position: Scrum Half
D.O.B: 5.04.1980
Height: 1.75m
Weight: 85kg

Rhys Crane (Nottingham Rugby)
Position: Wing
D.O.B: 14.10.1985
Height: 1.84m
Weight: 98kg

Tom Davies (Doncaster Knights)
Position : Prop
DOB : 24.03.1986
Height : 1.80m
Weight : 105kg

Calum Green (Leeds Carnegie)
Position: Lock
D.O.B: 15.07.1990
Height: 1.96 m
Weight: 114 kg

Charlie Hayter (Moseley)
Postion: Centre / Wing
D.O.B: 10.12.1988
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 100kg

Nathan Hannay (Jersey)
Position: Second row
D.O.B: 05.10.1984
Height: 1.98m
Weight: 126kg

Mark Irish (London Scottish)
Position: Prop
D.O.B: 25.08.1981
Height: 1.83 m
Weight: 108 kg

Dante Mama (Doncaster Knights)
Position: Fullback
DOB : 22.01.1990
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 100kg

Alan Paver (Cornish Pirates)
Position: Prop
DOB: 27.11.1977
Height: 1.73m
Weight: 105.7kg

Ben Pienaar (Moseley Rugby)
Position: No. 8
DOB: 10.07. 1986
Height: 1.93 m
Weight: 100 kg

Tristan Roberts (Bristol Rugby)
Position: Fly half
D.O.B: 23.03.1987
Height: 1.70m
Weight: 78.4kg

Nic Rouse (Nottingham Rugby)
Position: Second row
D.O.B: 10.2.1981
Weight: 1.98m
Height: 115kg

Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie)
Position: Back row
DOB: 14.01.1990
Height: 1.85 m
Weight: 100 kg

Jake Sharp (Bedford Blues)
Position: Fly half
D.O.B: 07.05.1991
Height: 1.81m
Weight: 91kg

Ted Stagg (Rotherham Titans)
Position: Hooker
D.O.B: 28.12.1989
Height: 1.75m
Weight: 102kg

Tim Streather (Nottingham Rugby)
Position: Outside Centre
D.O.B: 14.06.1988
Height: 1.83 m
Weight: 87 kg

Oliver Tomaszczyk (Newcastle Falcons)
Position: Prop
DOB: 24.11.1986
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 121kg

Jon Vickers (Plymouth Albion)
Position: Hooker
DOB: 23.12.1988
Height: 1.75m
Weight: 104 kg

Enjoy your weekend's rugby
Tom Innes

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