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Maori ABs going to North America

23rd May 2013 10:19

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Frae Wilson for Maori All Blacks

To meet: Maori ABs and Canada

The Maori All Blacks will play against Canada and the United States in a two-match North American tour this year.

The team faces Canada in Toronto on November 3 and the USA Eagles in Philadelphia on the 9th.

NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew said the games represented an exciting opportunity to take a special New Zealand team to North America.

"The Maori All Blacks have a unique history in rugby combined with a rich cultural identity," he said.

"We are incredibly fortunate that in addition to our special relationship with principal partner adidas, AIG's arrival as a major global sponsor of our national teams has allowed us to achieve a programme of this calibre.

"This is an exciting new step for us and we thank AIG for the specific investment in the Maori All Blacks to support an annual international programme for the next five years.

"We had a wonderful taste of the style of rugby played by both Canada and USA when they played here in Rugby World Cup 2011. New Zealanders got behind both teams during that tournament, which really added to the experience of players.

"The Aoteaora Fisheries Maori All Blacks Tour reinforces a great relationship with both Unions, and recognises the growth of rugby in both countries," he said.

Chief Executive Officer of AIG Property and Casualty, Peter Hancock, said the Maori All Blacks represented a special team.

"We are thrilled to help bring the Maori All Blacks to the United States and Canada," he said.

"As proud partners of New Zealand Rugby and USA Rugby, we are always looking for opportunities to help bring rugby to more people, and more places, around the world.

"The Maori All Blacks represent a unique and important part of Rugby and New Zealand Rugby's storied histories, and we are delighted to be able to share it with rugby fans and enthusiasts."