Cullen Grace from Ngāti Whakaue / Ngāti Raukawa, Sam Nock from Ngāpuhi and Max Hicks from Ngāti Ranginui / Ngāi te Rangi will join the Māori All Blacks squad this week ahead of the team’s first match against Ireland on Wednesday June 29 at FMG Stadium Waikato.
Nock debuted for the Māori All Blacks in 2018 and was selected in the squad last year. He was part of the Blues team this season, playing in the Super Rugby Pacific final against the Crusaders last weekend and is a key player for Northland in the Bunnings NPC.
Hicks joins the squad for the first time after showing huge potential in the 2021 Bunnings NPC for Tasman Mako. Hicks was selected for the Highlanders this year and debuted in the Super Rugby Pacific 2022 competition.
Joining Nock and Hicks is Grace, the youngest player to be named in the New Zealand Super Rugby squads for 2020. Following a stand-out season for the Crusaders, Grace was selected in the All Blacks squad in the same year (2020) and joins the Māori All Blacks as a debutant.
“It’s great to have three quality additions to the wider squad, we welcome back Sam Nock and the two debutants Cullen Grace and Max Hicks," says Māori All Blacks Head Coach Clayton McMillan.
"These guys will give us a more flexibility to prepare and put up our best performance against the top tier team Ireland over the coming weeks.”
Māori All Blacks vs Ireland: Wednesday June 29 at 7.05PM (NZST) at FMG Stadium Waikato, HAMILTON
Māori All Blacks v Ireland: Tuesday July 12 at 7.05PM (NZST) at Sky Stadium, WELLINGTON