Amongst the many tourist attractions in Chicago are the Māori All Blacks who arrived just days ago, who have already experienced places of interest in the third largest city of America.
“It’s pretty cold coming back from home going into summer,”says Shaun Stevenson, “but it’s an awesome city, it’s my first time in America so im just lapping it up, I went to my first NBA game last night so that was pretty awesome.”
The descendant of Ngāpui has played 2 tests in the Māori jersey and knows how the 9 new caps in the team feels.
“Obviously it’s nerve wracking coming into your first time with the Māori All Blacks, so I’m a bit more comfortable this year, hopefully we keep building on what we did last year,” says Stevenson.
One player who has been in the team for 11 years on and off is Ben May, the Ngāti Maniapoto descendant has 13 caps under his wing, the most in the entire team
“2007 was my first year,” admits May, “I’ve played alot of footy for the Māori team over the years but it’s always good to come back in, and it’s weird to be the old boy now but the young fullas make me feel young so I get into it and watch them grow.”
The team have a rest day tomorrow before getting back into more training as they prepare for their match against USA which will be held at the Soldier Field, Chicago.