TURBO CHARGED

For­mer Woodville player makes Ma¯ ori All Blacks squad

Bush Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By STEVE CARLE´

Rob Thomp­son has made the Ma¯ ori All Blacks squad an­nounced re­cently for its Chicago and South Amer­i­can tour.

Rob spent his younger days liv­ing in Woodville where he went to Woodville School.

He was named the Manawatu¯ Tur­bos Back of the Year at the Tur­bos end-of­sea­son din­ner sev­eral weeks ago.

Play­ing in the mid­field backs, Rob is of Nga¯ ti Kahun­gunu/Nga¯ Rauru iwi.

The Ma¯ ori All Blacks will play the USA Ea­gles in Chicago, as part of a triple Test bo­nanza which also fea­tures the World Cham­pion Black Ferns play­ing against USA Ea­gles and Italy v Ire­land.

Ma¯ ori Board Chair Dr Farah Palmer, who an­nounced the squad in Auck­land, con­grat­u­lated all those named for the three-match tour start­ing in Chicago this month.

“The Ma¯ ori All Blacks is a spe­cial team that has a unique ap­peal for fans from New Zealand and all over the world.

“We know the Ma¯ ori All Blacks rep­re­sent the jer­sey and their peo­ple with great pride when they travel over­seas.

“They con­tinue to be an im­por­tant part of show­cas­ing Ma¯ ori and Ma¯ ori rugby on the world stage.”

Ma¯ ori All Blacks head coach Clay­ton McMil­lan said se­lec­tions for the 27-strong squad had been com­plex but ex­cit­ing with some play­ers al­ready named for All Blacks duty in Ja­pan.

McMil­lan said the de­par­ture of some ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers off­shore, and dual du­ties with the All Blacks, cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity for sev­eral new faces.

“We’re look­ing at al­most 10 debu­tantes which you would ex­pect af­ter some play­ers have moved on,” he said.

“Some of these debu­tantes have had in­cred­i­bly strong sea­sons with their prov­inces in Mitre 10 Cup, and their Su­per Rugby clubs, so we are ex­cited to see what they will bring on this tour.”

We know the Ma¯ ori All Blacks rep­re­sent the jer­sey and their peo­ple with great pride when they travel over­seas. They con­tinue to be an im­por­tant part of show­cas­ing Ma¯ ori and Ma¯ ori ’ rugby on the world stage.

DR FARAH PALMER Ma¯ ori Board chair

Robert Thomp­son play­ing for the Tur­bos is in the Ma¯ ori All Blacks squad.

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