Māori Secondary Schoolgirls and Schoolboys teams named

Maia Lewis, former New Zealand captain. © Getty Images

Maia Lewis and Duncan Murray, respectively, will coach the girls and boys Māori Secondary Schools sides to play Governor General’s XIs at Wellington’s Karori Park later this month.

Lewis, a former WHITE FERNS captain who played nine Tests and 78 ODIs for New Zealand, will coach what will be the inaugural Māori Secondary Schoolgirl’s team; the boys side having been launched last summer.

The secondary schoolgirls team includes players from each of the six Major Associations, including four players who have represented their MAs at Under 19 level: Ocean Bartlett (CD), Sam Mackinder (Wellington), and Angelique Peyroux and Harriet Cuttance (both Otago).

Murray, an assistant coach with the Wellington Blaze, is the son of former New Zealand Test captain Bruce (Bags) Murray, and last season acted as the assistant coach of the inaugural Māori Secondary Schoolboys team.

The Māori Secondary Schoolboys team is also brimming with emerging talent, including five players from last year’s side as well as Ryan Jackson – a member of the New Zealand Under 19 squad.

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It also includes Payton Spencer, the son of All Black Carlos Spencer.

Players from both teams will assemble in Wellington on Tuesday, February 18 and will stay at the Pipitea Marae for the remainder of the week, engaging in many activities, with a focus on connecting with tikanga.

The games will be played on Thursday, February 20, with the schoolgirls’ side playing two T20 matches (starting at 10.30am and 3pm) and the schoolboys side playing a 50-over contest (starting at 10.30am).

Former BLACKCAPS Test wicket-keeper Adam Parore will join both teams in a support and mentor role, and will be present at the capping ceremony at Pipitea Marae on Wednesday, February 19.

Both Māori teams were selected by Northern Districts’ Pat Malcon.

The Māori Secondary Schools initiative was the recipient of the ‘Innovation in School Sport’ award in 2019 presented by School Sport NZ (NZSSSC).

NZ Maori Schoolgirls squad: Ocean Barlett, Waimarie Carter, Harriet Downes, Ella Drumm, Ella Gibson, Kayarna Jones-Dennes, Sam Mackinder, Angelique Peyroux, Jess Smith, Anika Todd, Chelsea Traill.