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O2 MatchDay Live: New Zealand Maori v Ireland XV

O2 MatchDay Live: New Zealand Maori v Ireland XV

You can follow the fortunes of Ireland in Friday’s uncapped international match against New Zealand Maori with our O2 MatchDay Live service. Get up-to-the-minute text commentary from Rotorua International Stadium right here on IrishRugby.ie.

O2 MatchDay Live will keep you up to date with all the goings on in Rotorua as Ireland meet New Zealand Maori for the first time at senior level.

The Ireland ‘A’ team did meet the Maori at the 2006 and 2007 Churchill Cup tournaments, falling to 27-6 and 50-22 defeats respectively.

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Friday’s uncapped game is part of New Zealand Maori rugby’s centenary celebrations, with it coming within weeks of the 100th anniversary of the first ever match involving an official New Zealand Maori team. That side played a Rotorua sub-union team on May 21, 1910, winning on a 25-5 scoreline.

The idea of a wholly Maori side was first mooted in the 1880s, resulting in the formation of the New Zealand Natives, whose famous 1888 tour was to have a tremendous impact on New Zealand rugby.

Since their debut in 1910, the New Zealand Maori team has played almost every provincial side in New Zealand as well as numerous national sides and has toured extensively overseas.

The team has a proud record which includes victories in the professional era over England, Argentina, Scotland and Fiji, and an historic 19-13 win over a 2005 British & Irish Lions outfit that had Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Paul O’Connell, Shane Byrne, Simon Easterby, Ronan O’Gara and Shane Horgan in the matchday squad.

Head coach Declan Kidney and the Irish management have named a much-changed team to take on the Maori, with full-back Geordan Murphy captaining his country for the first time.

There are four uncapped players in the starting line-up – Johne Murphy, Ed O’Donoghue, Rhys Ruddock and Chris Henry – and provincial combinations at half-back (Jonathan Sexton and Eoin Reddan) and in the second row (O’Donoghue and Dan Tuohy).

They will be backed up by undoubtedly the most experienced bench in Irish rugby history. Centurion John Hayes leads the way in a reserve list which tallies up an incredible 444 Test caps.

We will have live text commentary direct from Rotorua as Ireland look to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing result against the All Blacks.

So plug in the laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of Friday’s game live on IrishRugby.ie with thanks to O2, sponsors of MatchDay Live.

There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage as the Ireland XV look to overturn the Maori and give the tour squad a winning lead-in to next week’s Test against Australia.

Starting at 8.15am with our pre-match build-up (the game kicks off at 8.35am Irish time/7.35pm local time), you can feel part of the action with MatchDay Live on IrishRugby.ie.

The match is being broadcast live on Sky Sports 1/HD1, with their coverage beginning at 8.30am.

Look out for the MatchDay Live button in the Ireland section of this website, or simply click on the link below:

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