SPORTS

‘I Cant Wait’

Tawera Kerr-Barlow is looking forward to getting game time for the Maori All Blacks after more than nine months on the sideline. The Chiefs halfback suffered a knee/hamstring injury last
10 Jul 2015 10:22
‘I Cant Wait’
Maori All Blacks’ Tawera Kerr-Barlow. Photo: Rama

Tawera Kerr-Barlow is looking forward to getting game time for the Maori All Blacks after more than nine months on the sideline.

The Chiefs halfback suffered a knee/hamstring injury last October playing for the All Blacks against the Springboks.

The 24-year-old is relishing the chance to get back on the field in the showdown against the Vodafone Flying Fijians tomorrow.

“I just can’t wait to play some football. I’ve only had one 80-minute run and one 40-minute run playing two club games, so it’s going to be really hard out there,” he said.

“I’m getting the opportunity to play Fiji on Saturday, which is going to be a huge occasion for us. I haven’t played for the Maori team before, so I’m excited.

“Definitely we’re not going to take the Fijians lightly and even in training today with the weather and the heat, the boys are definitely feeling the difference from the training back home.”

Patience the key: Colin Cooper

Meanwhile, Maori All Blacks head coach Colin Cooper said patience would be the key to winning tomorrow.

“I think the team that has the most patience and the team that controls the ball, particularly from set piece, might have the edge on the other one. If the interest is just to play what’s in front of you, they may stumble a little bit,” he said.

“It’ll be a great game with really exciting players on both teams. I think the crowd will come along and watch that and I know that the Fijian people are passionate about their game. In my past, being here with the Junior All Blacks, I witnessed that.

“We’re going to have to make sure that our systems are good enough. But at the end of the day, it’ll all come down to want. Who wants to win the most, will win. So, to me, it’s going to be a fantastic game.”

Cooper felt confident about his selection with the inclusion of a number of Super Rugby players as well as All Blacks Charlie Ngatai and Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

“This is the core of good players who have been there for the past few years and then there are some exciting players. Six new caps and two of those are All Blacks coming back down to play for us. It’s an exciting group.

“This is the team that the All Blacks are looking at. We’ve been working quite closely with them for selections and this team is a high performance team in New Zealand.”

Making their debut for the Maori alongside Kerr-Barlow are Joe Moody, Jacob Skeen, 7s superstar brothers Akira and Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie, Josh Hohneck, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis and Otere Black.

Maori All Blacks: Joe Moody, Ash Dixon, Ben May, Jacob Skeen, Hayden Triggs, Akira Ioane, Mitchell Croswell, Blade Thompson, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Marty McKenzie, Kurt Baker, Charlie Ngatai (Captain), Matt Proctor, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie, Quentin Macdonald, Brendon Edmonds, Josh Hohneck, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Elliot Dixon, Jamison Gibson-Park, Otere Black and Jason Emery.

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 



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