Rugby News

NZ Maori Rugby set for Indigenous NRL All Stars clash.

NRL All Stars: Māori vs Indigenous Rugby match in Rotorua ready for an All-Stars week of excitement. Rotorua is set for an action-packed week leading up to the NRL Harvey Norman All Stars: Māori v Indigenous clash here on February 16.

The All-Stars Māori and Indigenous men’s and women’s teams will have an official pōhiri on Tuesday at Te Papaiōuru Marae in Ōhinemutu.

Te Arawa and Ngāti Whakaue leader Monty Morrison said it’s an honour to host any manuhiri (visitors) at Te Papaiōuru but will be particularly exciting to host our closest neighbours.

2024 NRL All Stars Māori vs Indigenous

Game NZ Maori vs Indigenous All Stars
Venue Rotorua International Stadium
Date & time 16 February 2023

“Hosting the Indigenous Games on home soil is an incredible opportunity, bringing communities and culture together. We look forward to welcoming the team, their whānau and supporters with a traditional pōhiri.

On Wednesday, the NRL will host a referee clinic for aspiring Bay of Plenty league referees at Rotorua Intermediate School. They have also invited Kiwi rugby league legend Clinton Toopi to talk to the students about being the best they can be to live positive, respectful and healthy lives.

The first real opportunity for league fans to get up close to their favourite Māori and Indigenous players, watch cultural performances and win giveaways and game tickets will be at the team’s appearance at Harvey Norman Rotorua on Wednesday between 3pm and 5pm.

Prior to the kick-off of the men’s NRL All Stars game between the Aotearoa New Zealand Māori Tāne versus Australian Indigenous All Stars, fans will be treated to a mixed touch game between the Māori Wāhine All Stars and Australian Indigenous All Stars, and a league clash between the New Zealand Māori Women and the Australian Indigenous Women’s All Stars, also NZ Sevens back in Los Angeles.

Rotorua International Stadium, Saturday February 11

  • 2:00pm NZDT (12:00pm AEDT) — Gates Open at Rotorua International Stadium
  • 2:05pm (12:05pm AEDT) — Mixed Touch Football, Indigenous vs. Māori All Stars
  • 3:30pm NZDT (1:30pm AEDT) — Women’s Māori vs. Indigenous All Stars
  • 5:40pm NZDT (3:40pm AEDT) — Men’s Māori vs. Indigenous All Stars

“The 2023 All Stars game will coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the first Indigenous Rugby League tour of New Zealand, and will also be 50 years since Arthur Beetson became the first Indigenous athlete to captain Australia.”

This is the first time the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars game has been played outside of Australia. The annual rugby league football match has been played since 2010, at a variety of venues across Australia.

Live Coverage of the games will be broadcast to 110 countries worldwide across SKY New Zealand, Nine Network, Fox League, and on NRL Live Pass.

The NRL Rugby League All Stars game is ranked third in the line-up of NRL stable, with State of Origin and NRL Grand Final ahead.

The 2023 NRL Harvey Norman All Stars will feature both women’s and men’s Indigenous and Māori teams. Tickets will be on sale later this year. – Gates open at 1.15pm on Saturday, February 11, and the Indigenous women’s game kicks-off at 3.30pm, followed by the men’s game getting underway at 5.45pm. NRL All Stars Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster click here.

The match is expected to generate around $4 million in revenue, attracting both national and international visitors with teams and support staff in Rotorua for five nights participating in training and engagement events across the city.

Te Arawa and Ngāti Whakaue leader Monty Morrison said Rotorua secured the rights to host as the bid focused on genuine manaakitanga (hospitality) while also being the best venue for an indigenous cultural exchange experience.

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