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All Blacks in waiting? Akira and Rieko Ioane named in Maori All Blacks

Blues and Baby Blacks ace Akira Ioane's star continues to rise after being named in the Maori All Blacks squad to play Fiji and the NZ Barbarians next month.

The 20-year-old flanker and his younger brother Rieko, both of whom have played for the All Blacks Sevens, are among 10 new caps unveiled by coach Colin Cooper today.

"It is very pleasing to introduce some exciting new talent to the 2015 side. Akira Ioane has really impressed with the Blues this year," Cooper said.

"Rieko Ioane will also provide great pace out wide and he's hugely matured with the All Blacks Sevens this year despite still only being 18-years-old."

Featuring All Black prospects Brad Weber and Charlie Ngatai, the squad includes 13 players who took part in last year's tour to Japan and three members of the successful New Zealand Under 20 team which won the recent World Championship title in Italy.

"This is a well-balanced side with some very experienced campaigners who have now played on several tours and know our systems well. I'll be expecting them to lead by example and show the new boys the high standards we expect."

Maori All Blacks (* denotes new cap)

Forwards

Hookers: Joe Royal, Ash Dixon, Quentin MacDonald*; props: Chris Eves, Brendon Edmonds, Josh Hohneck*, Ben May; locks: Hayden Triggs, Jacob Skeen*; Blade Thomson; loose forwards: Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon, Akira Ioane*, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Mitchell Crosswell;

Backs

Halfbacks: Jamison Gibson-Park, Brad Weber*, first-fives: Damian McKenzie*, Otere Black*; midfield backs: Jason Emery, Charlie Ngatai (c), Sean Wainui*; outside backs: Kurt Baker, Rieko Ioane*, Marty McKenzie, Matt Proctor, Codey Rei*

The Blues flanker uses his sevens game to blitz the Force. Source: SKY


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