Bateman to captain NZ Maori team


Former West Coaster Tim Bateman will captain the New Zealand Maori on their two-match tour of Canada and the United States.
Bateman, 26, was born in Greymouth and was later head boy of Christchurch Boys’ High School in Canterbury.
He formerly played for the Crusaders before heading to Japan for a stint with the Coca Cola West Red Sparks. He now plays for Wellingon and the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. Of Ngai Tahu descent, Bateman played for the Maori All Blacks in 2008 and 2012 and also represented New Zealand at under 19 and under 21 level.
He takes over the captaincy from loose forward Tanerau Latimer, who has opted to have surgery on a long-standing injury.
The NZ Maori play Canada at Toronto’s BMO Field on Monday, November 4, and the USA at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania on Sunday, November 10.
Coach Colin Cooper said: “I am thrilled for Tim to take over the leadership duties — he is a mature young man who leads by example. He knows the team culture really well having played for us in recent years so he is a great fit.
“I’m disappointed for Tanerau, but fully respect his reasons to step away for this tour.”
The 26-player squad includes former All Blacks hookers Hika Elliot and Corey Flynn, and halfback Piri Weepu.
Squad.— Hookers: Hika Elliot (Counties Manukau), Corey Flynn (Canterbury); Props: Ben Afeaki (North Harbour), Nick Barrett (Southland), Chris Eves (Manawatu), Kane Hames (Bay of Plenty), Joe Royal (Bay of Plenty); Locks: Jarrad Hoeata (Taranaki), Luke Katene (Canterbury), Joe Wheeler (Tasman); Loose forwards: Luke Braid (Auckland), Shane Christie (Tasman), Elliot Dixon (Southland), Liam Squire (Tasman), Blade Thomson (Taranaki), Halfbacks: Jamieson Gibson-Park (Taranaki), Piri Weepu (Auckland); First five-eighth: Ihaia West (Hawke’s Bay); Midfield backs: Tim Bateman (Wellington), Charlie Ngatai (Wellington), Jackson Willison (Waikato); Outside backs: Kurt Baker (Taranaki), Zac Guildford (Hawke’s Bay), Robbie Robinson (Southland), Andre Taylor (Taranaki), Matt Proctor (Wellington).