Ireland vs Maori All Blacks LIVE rugby: Result and reaction as Ireland suffer defeat in tour opener

·26 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland begin their summer tour of New Zealand with a game against the Maori All Blacks in Hamilton on Wednesday morning.

Two of the three favourites for next year’s Rugby World Cup, along with hosts France, the three-match series between Ireland and the All Blacks will be a fascinating watch but before the first Test in Auckland on Saturday, the Irish have a warm-up against the Maoris.

A proud representative side, who reflect the country’s heritage and have a long, storied rugby history, the hosts will provide a real challenge for an experimental-looking Ireland side - who are captained by New Zealand-born Bundee Aki.

The Ireland XV contains five uncapped players and the match will be played at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton, where Aki won a Super Rugby title with former club the Chiefs before joining Connacht in 2014, while coach Andy Farrell has stressed the importance of the contest: “It’s huge. It’s everything to these players that are taking the field, it is the biggest game of their lives. I know there is a three-game series coming up but these two Maori games for us and what we’re trying to build and how we’re trying to put people under pressure and see how they come through, that is just as important.”

Follow all the action from Hamilton with our live blog below:

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland

  • Ireland lose to Maori All Blacks in opening game of New Zealand tour

  • FULL-TIME! Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

  • 67’ - TRY! Coombes burrows over for Ireland (Maori 32-17 Ireland)

  • 40’ - TRY! Grace finishes off another superb team try (Maori 32-10 Ireland)

  • 35’ - TRY! Weber snipes over from close range (Maori 25-10 Ireland)

  • 29’ - TRY! Stevenson finishes off stunning Maori try (Maori 18-10 Ireland)

  • 21’ - TRY! Aki scythes through for Ireland’s opening try (Maori 8-10 Ireland)

  • 17’ - TRY! Sullivan finishes nicely for the Maoris (Maori 8-3 Ireland)

  • NZ-born Bundee Aki captains an experimental Ireland line-up

Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

10:09 , Luke Baker

A cracking result for the Maoris and no more than they deserved after a scintillating first-half performance. Four superb tries and they played some brilliant expansive rugby.

FULL-TIME! 80’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

10:04 , Luke Baker

Final minute or so and Maoris run the phases. They’re looking for more points rather than just kicking out.

They turn the ball over and it’s Ireland’s chance to run. Aki with a jinking run before Earls does likewise and they’re into Maori territory.

Lost forward though and that’s FULL-TIME! Brilliant win for the Maori All Blacks. Well deserved

78’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

10:02 , Luke Baker

Maoris pinged for playing the man in the air and Ireland have a penalty. Oh dear... Frawley goes for an aggressive touch, kicks it too far and it’s back for a Maori scrum. Poor

77’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

10:01 , Luke Baker

Lineout lost by Ireland. Their set-piece has been sloppy today.

Maoris run a few phases and Billy Harmon makes some metres down the right flank but his pass back inside is blocked by the covering Craig Casey. Harmon then needlessly pushes Casey and referee Wayne Barnes overturns the lineout to give Ireland a penalty. The back-rower lost his head slightly there.

76’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

09:59 , Luke Baker

Hmmmm, slightly odd call there. Scrum won by the All Blacks and Ruben Love drops into pocket and calls for the drop goal. His effort is wayward and Ireland can exit.

Penalty won and Frawley goes for a mammoth touch. Great work by Zarn Sullivan to keep it in, making sure his feet are in the field of play and flicking the ball backwards. Top work! Maoris kick clear and Ireland will still have a lineout in the opposition half.

MISSED PENALTY! 73’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

09:57 , Luke Baker

Not a great kick from the 21-year-old Love as his low, flat effort clunks off the post.

Ireland collect the loose ball but Ciaran Frawley gets crunched by Love and Tamaiti Williams to go backwards and the counter-ruck from the Maoris wins the penalty. This time they go for a scrum around eight metres from the line.

72’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

09:55 , Luke Baker

Connor Garden-Bachop with space to run on the left and the winger bursts into the Ireland 22. Through the phases and another penalty won by the All Blacks.

Ruben Love - who came on for Josh Ioane at 10 - will go for the posts, on the 22 and pretty straight, shouldn’t be an issue.

70’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

09:53 , Luke Baker

Healy leaving the field on a cart and he can’t put any weight on his right leg. That’s a big blow for Ireland - potentially for the whole tour. On comes Finlay Bealham.

Immediately thrust into a scrum, which the All Blacks win comfortably and run a few phases around halfway. Tyrone Thompson pumps his legs to grind out a few more metres. Ireland steal the ball at the breakdown but then lose it forward. Very frustrating and it’s another Maori scrum.

69’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

09:50 , Luke Baker

More like it from Ireland as they run from deep, go through the hands to the right and Larmour takes them into the Maori half.

Back the other way and Aki does well to come infield to keep the play alive. But they then lose the ball as Ryan Baird knocks on from crash ball.

Cian Healy down on the field and looks in a lot of pain. His right leg got bent backwards making a tackle. Really not good.

TRY! 67’ Maori All Blacks 32-17 Ireland

09:46 , Luke Baker

At last! Pick and go from Scannell takes them back towards the line. Gavin Coombes picks up from the base, drives his legs and burrows his way over the line. Ireland finally convert.

Nice strike from the conversion from Ciaran Frawley and it’s between the uprights

65’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:45 , Luke Baker

Lienout secured, they try to set up the driving maul but it’s well defended.

Niall Scannell picks and goes, the forwards keep it tight and move them within a few metres. Big carry from Coombes gets over the line but he’s held up, back for another penalty.

65’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:44 , Luke Baker

A good scrum by Ireland wins the penalty and they can flip field position somewhat as Frawley sends them well into the Maori half for the lineout.

Bundee Aki on the crash ball and they win a penalty a phase or two later. Kick to the corner and this is an opportunity for the Irish.

62’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:41 , Luke Baker

They go down the blindside from the lineout and make a few metres but then knock on and Ireland can exit from the subsequent scrum.

Poor mistake though - they play the ball back into the 22 and the kick is out on the full, so the lineout for the Maoris will be just inside the Ireland 22.

This second half hasn’t been as slick from the All Blacks and again they knock forward when running an attacking set to the right, Josh Ioane the man unable to hang on.

60’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:38 , Luke Baker

Box kick from Craig Casey and Ireland collect, before Cian Prendergast brilliantly keeps the ball from going into touch. Ciaran Frawley tires a cross-field kick but it’s gathered well by Connor Garden-Bachop and he almost break through when running the ball back.

Ireland scramble to cover but concede the penalty and the Maoris find touch on the 22.

57’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:35 , Luke Baker

Ireland pinged for not rolling away and the Maoris can finally properly exit as they kick the penalty to touch just inside the visitors’ half.

You know they’ll run it from here and they duly do but the Ireland defence is solid. Billy Harmon has a bit of space on the left to take them to the ten-metre line. Ooh, that’s nice! Cameron Suafoa flicks out of the back of his hand to Bailyn Sullivan but the ball back inside is knocked on. Ireland scrum on their own 22.

54’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:31 , Luke Baker

Another attacking platform for Ireland as they build from the lineout. Nice carry from Keith Earls takes them towards the 22 and this is much better, quicker ball to work with.

But again, it’s untidy by the Irish and they knock on in the midst of a scrappy ruck. A really frustrating day if you’re an Ireland fan.

Second-half territory has been completely dominated by Ireland but they’ve got no points to show for it

51’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:27 , Luke Baker

James Hume helped off and Michael Lowry on in his place.

Ireland showing more attacking intent in the second half, running with ball in hand, but they get turned over on halfway and are forced back.

Maoris return a Lowry clearing kick and Cameron Suafoa’s powerful carry gets the All Blacks moving. But it ends with a knock-on - Ireland scrum around the ten-metre line.

49’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:24 , Luke Baker

Strong carry from Coombes after the dropout and he makes a good few metres. Ciaran Frawley tries an up-and-under but well gathered by the All Blacks under pressure from Larmour.

The next attacking phases see James Hume carry into contact and Frawley grubbers through, into touch on the 22. Hume now down receiving treatment on the field.

Bailyn Sullivan on for the Maoris - he’s the brother of full-back Zarn and the siblings are playing together for the first time. Big moment for the Sullivan family.

47’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:21 , Luke Baker

Gavin Coombes gathers the goal-line drop-out, just... Bobbles and narrowly avoids a knock-on. Ireland come again and although they lose the ball, Jordan Larmour gather will in the air and now they can run some attacking sets.

Wide on the left and Keith Earls takes contact. Back infield, a couple of metres out and Nick Timoney goes for the line. Ruled just short, then held up in-goal and that’s confirmed by the TMO. Another goal-line drop out for the All Blacks. Ireland just can’t quite find a way through.

45’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:17 , Luke Baker

Ioane safely clears to touch but it doesn’t exit the 22. Another good attacking platform for Ireland. Lineout won and Heffernan goes down the short side off the maul.

Ireland within a metre of the line and Cian Prendergast carries over but it’s ruled he’s held up and that will be a goal-line drop-out. Ireland getting closer.

44’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:15 , Luke Baker

Oh dear, oh dear... A third tap-and-go penalty but Heffernan fumbles this one and knocks on as he tries to take the tap. Dismal, really.

All Blacks scrum on their own five-metre line. Still a chance for Ireland if the Healy-led front row can apply pressure

43’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:14 , Luke Baker

Heffernan again with the tap-and go. Within a metre of the line.

Another penalty coming for offside but Cian Healy drives over the line. He’s held up and we’re back for the penalty.

43’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:13 , Luke Baker

Dave Heffernan carries strongly to the five-metre line. Cian Prendergast then with a bruising hit as well.

Offside against the Maoris and it’s a five-metre penalty for the Irish

42’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:11 , Luke Baker

Great chargedown by Bundee Aki to prevent a Maori clearance and then Ireland win the turnover in the next phase. Penalty in front of the posts for Ireland.

It’ll be the tap and go!

KICK-OFF! 40’ - Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

09:10 , Luke Baker

Back underway in Hamilton. Cian Healy on for Jeremy Loughman at loosehead for Ireland. Can he help inspire a comeback? They need to be much better in attack if so.

A poor start as Craig Casey slices his clearance from the kick-off and Shaun Stevenson almost gathers on the Ireland 22 but it bounces off him into touch. A worrying start...

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland

09:07 , Luke Baker

Is there any way back for Ireland? They haven’t been able to successfully go through their attacking sets so far and have been sliced open by the All Blacks’ all-court running game.

They got some experience to come off the bench if they need it, with the likes of back-rower Jack Conan, scrum-half Conor Murray and fly-half Joey Carbery but you’d imagine those three will be in the squad against New Zealand on Saturday, so Andy Farrell may not want to give them too many minutes.

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland

09:04 , Luke Baker

Maori full-back Zarn Sullivan has been brilliant in that first half - at the heart of everything they’ve done.

His 50/22 set up one try, he scored one himself, his kicking from hand has pinned Ireland back, he’s been so solid under the high ball and has launched a number of counter-attacks. Really impressive.

HALF-TIME! Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

08:57 , Luke Baker

Wow! What a half from the Maoris. Four superb tries and they’ve dominated Ireland. The Irish haven’t had much ball to work with and what they have had, they’ve inevitably turned over almost immediately.

Bundee Aki did cross for a try for the tourists but they’ve been outplayed in the loose by their hosts and, worryingly, dominated in the tight as well. The All Blacks scrum in particular has impressed

TRY! - 40’ Maori All Blacks 32-10 Ireland

08:56 , Luke Baker

Almost a turnover for Craig Casey as he gets his hands on the ball in the ruck but he can’t quite secure it. A bit of kick tennis ensues and Zarn Sullivan just about collects on his own 22. He offloads from the tackle and Shaun Stevenson sidesteps his man and scythes through the defence.

He draws his man and although the pass to Billy Harmon is poor, the flanker controls with his foot and is able to gather the ball, then pass inside to the supporting Cullen Grace for the run-in under the sticks!

Another unbelievable try from the Maoris, their open-field running is superb and Ireland can’t cope defensively. Easy conversion for Ioane and Ireland are shell-shocked.

38’ Maori All Blacks 25-10 Ireland

08:52 , Luke Baker

Better from Ireland as they go through the phases in All Blacks territory with Craig Casey marshalling the attack but again they turn the ball over in contact, trying to force an offload.

Maoris stable at the scrum, where they’ve dominated today and they run the ball out, using their favoure side - the right - to eat up yards. A kick through forces Ireland back and the Maoris regain possession in midfield.

TRY! 35’ Maori All Blacks 25-10 Ireland

08:48 , Luke Baker

Free-kick against Ireland at the lineout for not retreating and it’s quickly-taken by the Maoris. Front-foot ball and they’re within metres of the line.

Popped ball to Rameka Poihipi who runs a nice line and is hauled down close to the line. Scrum-half Brad Weber snipes from the base of the ruck and slides over the line for a third All Blacks try. Too easy really.

Simple conversion for Ioane and this one is getting away from Ireland slightly.

33’ Maori All Blacks 18-10 Ireland

08:46 , Luke Baker

WHAT POWER FROM THE MAORIS! The All Blacks drive Ireland five metres back from the scrum and force them into touch - unbelievable effort by the home pack.

They make a mess of the attacking lineout though and Ireland able to turnover and clear. ANOTHER penalty in midfield though, not rolling away, and Ioane can boot the penalty into touch inside the Irish 22. Maoris in position again.

32’ Maori All Blacks 18-10 Ireland

08:44 , Luke Baker

Ireland have an attacking platform after a nice carry by Craig Casey but again, they turn the ball over and this sort of broken-field play is where the Maoris thrive.

Ball spread right again and Stevenson kicks ahead. It looks like Brad Weber will be able to gather for the hosts but a covering defender manages to disrupt and Ireland survive. Irish scrum just outside their own 22

TRY! 29’ - Maori All Blacks 18-10 Ireland

08:41 , Luke Baker

WHAT A SCORE THAT IS! Maori All Blacks at their best. Zarn Sullivan again at the heart of it as he rises high to claim an up-and-under just outside his own 22.

First-phase ball is spread right and Josh Ioane bursts through a gap in the Ireland defence just outside Bundee Aki. He draws the final man towards the right touchline and flicks a pass outside to Shaun Stevenson, allowing the winger to hold off a defender and barrel over the whitewash. Stunning score.

Ioane has found his range from the tee now and adds the conversion for an 18-10 lead.

PENALTY! 26’ - Maori All Blacks 11-10 Ireland

08:38 , Luke Baker

The Maoris have dominated in terms of possession and territory but the scoreboard doesn’t reflect that. Again, they build and attacking position and win their fourth penalty of the game. They’ve only conceded one.

It’s a pretty long-range shot, around 42m out and to the right of centre but this time Ioane makes no mistake and slots it. Good kick and bounceback from the last miss.

MISSED PENALTY! 24’ - Maori All Blacks 8-10 Ireland

08:36 , Luke Baker

Great response from the Maoris as they secure ball in the Ireland half and go through 10+ phases. Eventually Ireland get pinged and Ioane will go for the posts.

Oooh, that’s not a great kick... An eminently kickable penalty but he slides it wide of the uprights. A let off for Ireland

TRY! 21’ - Maori All Blacks 8-10 Ireland

08:33 , Luke Baker

Who else!? It’s the NZ-born Ireland captain Bundee Aki who gets his side’s first try of the tour!

It’s a lovely first-phase ball off the lineout as Gavin Coombes draws in two defenders on the crash ball and pops to Aki, running a great line that slices between defenders and he’s able to race towards the posts, with his momentum taking him over the line when tackled. A training ground move come to life.

Simple conversion and the tourists lead.

19’ - Maori All Blacks 8-3 Ireland

08:31 , Luke Baker

BIG carry from Nick Timoney as the flanker keeps his legs driving and gets Ireland on the front foot. They try a dinked kick in behind and Jordan Larmour is in pursuit on the right touchline. He gets a hand to the ball but it won’t quite sit up for him to gather and score. CLOSE!

Maoris collect and are forced into touch but it’s back for the scrum from Larmour’s knock-on. They clear from the scrum but only up to the 22 and Ireland will have an attacking lineout.

TRY! 17’ - Maori All Blacks 8-3 Ireland

08:28 , Luke Baker

TRY! Lineout secured and a couple of phases takes the Maoris within a few metres of the line. Billy Harmon then carries powerfully to inches away before the ball is spread right to the short side and Zarn Sullivan steps inside and burrows over the line. Classy finish from the full-back.

Ioane’s conversion from the right drifts just wide of the upright to leave the score at 8-3.

15’ - Maori All Blacks 3-3 Ireland

08:26 , Luke Baker

Gorgeous kick from Maori full-back Zarn Sullivan as he pulls out a 50/22 with a low, left-footed zinger that skids into touch five metres from the Irish line. All Blacks lineout and a golden opportunity.

13' - Maori All Blacks 3-3 Ireland

08:24 , Luke Baker

Scrum secured by Ireland but as they try to play it out, hands let them down for a turnover. Another decent attacking platform for the Maoris towards the 22.

Half a dozen phases but they’re going nowhere and they concede the turnover. However, they concede a penalty after the clearance kick and the All Blacks can again enter Ireland territory.

Good news for the tourists as prop Jeremy Loughman is back on, having passed his HIA.

10’ - Maori All Blacks 3-3 Ireland

08:20 , Luke Baker

A half-chance for the Maoris but big hits from the Ireland defence - much like we saw during the Six Nations - force them back. Nice offload by Cullen Grace but it’s deemed forward and the Irish have a scrum, with a chance to exit.

9’ - Maori All Blacks 3-3 Ireland

08:19 , Luke Baker

Powerful carry from Maori winger Connor Garden-Bachop - he was showing plenty of emotion during the pre-match anthem and men now bouncing off him.

Then good defence by Ireland and the All Blacks into touch, for an Irish defensive lineout on the 22. It’s pinched by the Maoris though and Brad Weber takes the ball into contact

PENALTY! 7’ - Maori All Blacks 3-3 Ireland

08:16 , Luke Baker

More or less bang in front and that’s no issue for Josh Ioane to level the scores

6’ - Maori All Blacks 0-3 Ireland

08:14 , Luke Baker

Ireland fail to find touch with a clearance kick and Josh Ioane returns it. Shaun Stevenson carries into the Irish 22, getting the crowd on their feet, and an offside call will give the Maoris an immediate chance to level the scores

PENALTY! 4’ - Maori All Blacks 0-3 Ireland

08:13 , Luke Baker

Ball is on the ten-metre line, a bit right of centre - probably 45m out or so. A nice settler for Ciaran Frawley as the Leinster fly-half, with his shock of ginger hair, slots the ball between the sticks to give the tourists the lead.

3’ - Maori All Blacks 0-0 Ireland

08:12 , Luke Baker

Conditions are slick today, with rain throughout the day and the All Blacks now knock on in contact as Zarn Sullivan has the ball dislodged by Ciaran Frawlay. A bit of pushing and shoving afterwards as both teams look to make a statement early that they won’t be intimidated,

Ireland then win the scrum penalty, so that’s 1-1 at scrum-time so far. Ireland will kick for the posts from range.

2' - Maori All Blacks 0-0 Ireland

08:10 , Luke Baker

Nice start from Ireland as James Hume makes a half-break on the right with a show-and-go before Jordan Larmour slips on the surface. The ball then knocked on in contact and it’s the first scrum of the day, with Maori put-in.

Bad news though as Jeremy Loughman took a hit during that sequence and he’s already off for a HIA. He looks pretty woozy. Cian Healy and his 100+ caps on international experience thrust into action

KICK-OFF! 1 - Maori All Blacks 0-0 Ireland

08:07 , Luke Baker

Right, Haka complete and we’re underway in Hamilton. Wayne Barnes the referee for this clash, incidentally.

Anthems complete

08:02 , Luke Baker

Right, stirring renditions of the two anthems have been completed and we’re almost set to get underway in Hamilton. This should be a fascinating clash and plenty of the Ireland boys will be looking to stake a claim for the Test side.

Next up, the first Haka of the summer - the Maori All Blacks always do a particularly heartfelt Haka.

Before that, Ireland captain Bundee Aki lays down an Ireland ‘11’ shirt between the sides in honour of Sean Wainui - the Maori All Blacks star winger who tragically died in a car crash last October. A nice sign of respect

Joe Schmidt joins All Blacks coaching set-up

08:02 , Luke Baker

As mentioned in the story below, the addition of Joe Schmidt to the All Blacks coaching set-up adds a real wrinkle to the Test series against Ireland.

No-one knows Ireland better than Schmidt, after his six-year stint in charge of the Irish side which included three Six Nations titles.

One of the most detailed-orientated coaches in rugby history, he’ll add some real know-how to the All Blacks, even if he’s only a temporary Covid replacement.

Joe Schmidt joins New Zealand after Covid fells coaches before Ireland tour

07:59 , Luke Baker

Joe Schmidt has been rushed into the New Zealand set-up after Covid-19 felled the side’s coaching stocks on the eve of Ireland’s tour.

The former Ireland boss was due to start coaching his home country’s side after the tour but positive tests for head coach Ian Foster as well as assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod forced Schmidt to join them early, NZ Rugby said.

“Joe will come in for Tuesday and Thursday’s trainings this week, and we’re really grateful to have his help,” Foster said.

“We’ve planned for this kind of disruption and we’ve got back up plans and people on standby. Joe was one of those people we could call on.

“I’ve got every confidence in our coaching group, and in our senior leaders who are all stepping up in what’s a massive test for us.”

Joe Schmidt joins New Zealand after Covid fells coaches before Ireland tour

Inexperienced Ireland side face ‘biggest game of lives’ against Maori All Blacks

07:55 , Luke Baker

Andy Farrell says his experimental Ireland side face the “biggest game of their lives” after selecting five uncapped players to take on the Maori All Blacks.

Leinster’s Ciaran Frawley will start at fly-half, with provincial team-mate Jimmy O’Brien at full-back in a team captained by New Zealand-born centre Bundee Aki.

Munster prop Jeremy Loughman, Leinster lock Joe McCarthy and Connacht flanker Cian Prendergast are the other international rookies included.

Wednesday’s match in Hamilton marks the start of Ireland’s summer tour, with the first of three Tests against New Zealand coming on Saturday in Auckland.

The Irish will also play the Maori team for a second time on July 12 in Wellington.

Inexperienced Ireland side face ‘biggest game of lives’ against Maori All Blacks

‘Huge privilege’: Bundee Aki proud to captain Ireland against Maori All Blacks

07:52 , Luke Baker

Bundee Aki says it will be a “huge privilege” to captain Ireland against the Maori All Blacks after initially suspecting head coach Andy Farrell was joking about giving him the responsibility.

New Zealand-born Aki is set to lead a youthful side containing five uncapped players on Wednesday as the Irish kick-off their summer tour of his homeland.

The match will be played at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton, where the 32-year-old centre won a Super Rugby title with former club the Chiefs before joining Connacht in 2014.

“(I’m) privileged to be here, be a part of this team and to lead the boys out,” Aki told a press conference. “It’s special to do it here, where I played my Super Rugby.

“It is a huge privilege, it’s an honour. A very proud moment for myself and my family. A kid from south Auckland, not many opportunities come your way.

Bundee Aki proud to captain Ireland against Maori All Blacks

Maori All Blacks team to face Ireland

07:49 , Luke Baker

Meanwhile, for the Maori All Blacks, experienced scrum-halves Brad Weber and TJ Perenara will co-captain them having missed out on Ian Foster’s full All Blacks squad.

Perenara, who started when New Zealand lost to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in November, is named among the replacements with Weber leading the starting side out.

There are 10 players set to make their debut for the Maori while a number of experienced Super Rugby campaigners including Tyrel Lomax, Shaun Stevenson and Josh Ioane are named.

Maori All Blacks: Zarn Sullivan; Shaun Stevenson, Billy Proctor , Rameka Poihipi , Connor Garden-Bachop; Josh Ioane, Brad Weber (co-capt); Ollie Norris, Kurt Eklund, Tyrel Lomax, Josh Dickson, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Cameron Suafoa, Billy Harmon, Cullen Grace.

Replacements: Tyrone Thompson, Tamaiti Williams, Jermaine Ainsley, Maanaki Selby-Rickit, TK Howden, TJ Perenara (co-capt), Ruben Love, Bailyn Sullivan.

Ireland team to face the Maori All Blacks

07:44 , Luke Baker

Ireland have gone youthful and experimental with their line-up for this morning’s clash, with just three days before the first Test against New Zealand. It’s hard to imagine many of these players will be involved against the All Blacks from the start on Saturday.

There are five uncapped players in the starting XV, as Leinster’s Ciaran Frawley will start at fly-half with provincial team-mate Jimmy O’Brien at full-back. Munster prop Jeremy Loughman, Leinster lock Joe McCarthy and Connacht flanker Cian Prendergast are the other international rookies included.

As mentioned, the side is captained by New Zealand-born Bundee Aki, who is one of only three players with more than six caps in Ireland’s maiden starting XV, alongside Jordan Larmour (30) and Keith Earls (96).

Ireland Jimmy O’Brien; Jordan Larmour, James Hume, Bundee Aki (capt), Keith Earls; Ciaran Frawley, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Dave Heffernan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Joe McCarthy, Cian Prendergast, Nick Timoney, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Michael Lowry.

Ireland vs Maori All Blacks

07:36 , Luke Baker

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Ireland vs Maori All Blacks from Hamilton.

Two of the three favourites for next year’s Rugby World Cup, along with hosts France, the three-match series between Ireland and the All Blacks will be a fascinating watch but before the first Test in Auckland on Saturday, the Irish have a warm-up against the Maoris.

A proud representative side, who reflect the country’s heritage and have a long, storied rugby history, the hosts will provide a real challenge for an experimental-looking Ireland side - who are captained by New Zealand-born Bundee Aki.

The Ireland XV contains five uncapped players and the match will be played at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton, where Aki won a Super Rugby title with former club the Chiefs before joining Connacht in 2014, while coach Andy Farrell has stressed the importance of the contest.

Stay with us for all the action.