Players excited to be chosen for Māori side

By Heta Gardiner

There is excitement among the players chosen to represent the New Zealand Māori league side to face the Indigenous All Stars.

Peta Hiku is one of four Warriors players selected to play for the Māori team.  Former Kangaroos player Dane Gagai, Newcastle Knights superstar Kalyn Ponga, and former Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich are also part of the squad. 

Hiku believes the preparation will be similar to the lead up to Kiwis tests, which often also have short preparation time.

There is also an added flavor, a Māori flavor to this team.

“This one will have a bit more story behind it, you’ll probably hear a bit more about where you come from, and what’s happened in the past with our culture, and I'm looking forward to hearing about all about that stuff,” says Hiku, who will be involved with the side for the first time.

This will be coach Stacey Jones’ first involvement with any Māori side.  He agrees that there is a different level of pride that comes with playing for this team.

“I want to make sure we embrace why we’re here and putting on that jersey,” says Jones.