Canucks to host Maoris
NEWS: Canada will welcome the Maori All Blacks to Vancouver in November to a once-off international on November 3, 2017, which will serve as preparation for their respective international matches in Europe later that month.
Canada will be securing its top professionals for the match in order to field the strongest team possible. Having recently lost to the USA in a home-and-home series for the North America 1 seed at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, Canada will use the November 3 fixture to prepare for the next chance to qualify for the third largest sporting event in the world in January and February in a two-game series against Uruguay.
Additionally, the contest against the Maori All Blacks in Vancouver will be one of four international matches for Canada in November.
"We are thrilled to be bringing back XVs rugby to BC Place stadium, where we've held three successful events in recent history and are set to host another Canada Sevens series in March . The Maori All Blacks are one of the most iconic and recognizable franchises in the world and we can't wait to play them in front of some of Canada's most passionate rugby fans," Allen Vansen, CEO of Rugby Canada said.
The Maori All Blacks are a historic team representing the proud culture of New Zealand. In 1888, the New Zealand Natives was one of the country's maiden national rugby sides. The first to wear the famous black jersey, the side was originally conceived as an all-Maori selection and ultimately included just five non-Maori players in its ranks.
The team has conquered many international sides, including the British and Irish Lions. Originally, team selection was 'loosely' governed in terms of heritage, but now all players must have Maori whakapapa or genealogy confirmed in order to represent the side.
"Having played in Toronto in 2013 and Calgary in 2003, we are excited to be returning to Canada with the Maori All Blacks, in what will be our first visit to Vancouver. This match is a great addition to the Maori All Blacks programme in 2017 - providing a wonderful opportunity to bring our special style of rugby, and Maori culture, to this amazing part of the world," New Zealand Rugby's Maori Rugby Board Chair and former Black Ferns captain, Dr Farah Palmer said.