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Rugby League World Cup 2000
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World Cup News

NZ Maori
NZ Maori
NZ Maori
The Maori squad:

Tawera Nikau (captain)
Alex Chan
Jamie Cookthcote
Luke Goodwin
Terry Hermansson
Sean Hoppe
David Kidwell
Toa Kohe-Love
Wairangi Koopu
Kyle Leuluai
Odel Manuel
Martin Moana
Jared Mills
Chris Nahi
Boycie Nelson
Gene Ngamu
Henry Perenara
Paul Rauhihi
Tahi Reihana
Jeremy Smith
Tyron Smith
Hare Te Rangi
Clinton Toopi
Paul Whatuira
Group 4 news

Many of the Maori squad, taking part in their first World Cup, will be keen to show New Zealand coach Frank Endacott that he should have selected them for the Kiwi team.

Warrington and New Zealand 'Great' Tawera Nikau leads them up front, so they should not be lacking fire and aggression, especially with the experienced Terry Hermansson and Tyran Smith joining him in the pack.

The pack may lack youth and genuine pace but few sixes will be able to 'tough it out' with them.

Behind the scrum there is a wealth of talent, plenty of craft and sufficient pace to trouble Scotland in their opening match at Firhill Stadium. St Helens' strong running three-quarter Sean Hoppe and the equally powerful Halifax loose forward, Martin Moana, will be difficult to stop in midfield; clever half back Gene Gnamu will provide the defence-splitting passes and shrewd kicks, while Warrington's Toa Kohe Love has blistering pace.

The Maori's will certainly create problems for any opposition at any stage in the 31-match tournament while their group qualifying battle with Samoa could well register 9 on the Richter Scale.

Perhaps one of the biggest assets of the Maori squad could be their vastly experienced and passionate coach, former Carlisle boss Cameron Bell and his assistant, and son, ex-Wigan and New Zealand centre, Dean.

Having both coached and played at the now defunct Carlisle club, the two Bells know the playing conditions in Britain well and possess a detailed knowledge of the bulk of the players in the World Cup.

Don't be surprised if the Maoris emerge as the shock team of the competition and progress as far as the semi-finals.