Maori prepared for Fiji challenges

Date published: July 5 2015

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Travelling to Suva and facing Fiji on their own turf will be a major test for the Maori All Blacks according to coach Colin Cooper.

The side have won their last 18 matches going into next Saturday's international friendly, as the Fijians begin their preparations for this year's Rugby World Cup.

An exciting 27-man squad features ten new players with Cooper, after his ITM Cup success with Taranaki, prepared for some different challenges in terms of the team's travel.

"Fiji have five tests before the World Cup to prepare so they will see this as an important test," Cooper told Stuff.

"It's in their backyard and we have the challenge of flying into Nadi and then having to bus to Suva.

"That will be a whole day taken up by travel, so that's another challenge. But it's all about preparation and I think it's more important we get the players engaged who were involved in the final into the Maori jersey.

"We certainly won't be chucking any of these young guys under the bus, if you like. There is the [New Zealand] Barbarians game a week later, so there will be an opportunity there for those guys.

"It's really about winning that first test against Fiji."

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