Fly-half Willie Ripia has been named in the Maori All Blacks squad for their short UK tour, beginning a comeback 10 months after his career foundered when he admitted stealing from team-mates at the Western Force.
Ripia resigned from the Force in January after being confronted with CCTV footage showing him stealing from team-mates' wallets and bags at the team's Perth headquarters. He has since been undergoing counseling for a gambling addiction.
The Maori team will play the Leicester Tigers on November 13, a Championship Selection on November 17 and Canada at Oxford on November 23.
Coach Jamie Joseph said Ripia's selection for the tour would be an important step in his battle against the addiction.
"He's had some troubles but part of this team is about promoting our people, promoting our players," Joseph told Radio Sport.
Joseph, who was at the helm of the last NZ Maori campaign (now Maori All Blacks) in 2010 which featured Ripia, handed Bay of Plenty stalwart Tanerau Latimer the captaincy of the 26-strong squad.
"We have selected Tanerau as captain for his perfect mix of talent and leadership on and off the field," Joseph said.
"We are very excited about this tour to England as the programme offers an excellent opportunity to display the depth of talent we have."
The side also features Hika Elliot who lost out to Dane Coles for the third hooking spot on the All Blacks' European tour and lock Jarrad Hoeata who played three times for the All Blacks last year, but missed out on the World Cup squad.
New Zealand Maori tour squad:
Backs: Trent Renata, Andre Taylor, Kurt Baker, Kade Poki, Declan O'Donnell, Charlie Ngatai, Jackson Willison, Tim Bateman, Willie Ripia, Jamison Gibson-Park, Frae Wilson.
Forwards: Elliot Dixon, Tanerau Latimer, Karl Lowe, Shane Christie, Nick Crosswell, Jarrad Hoeata, Jason Eaton, Romano Graham, Ross Filipo, Ben May, Bronson Murray, Ben Afeaki, Jacob Ellison, Hika Elliot, Quentin MacDonald.