Cooper takes charge of Maori All Blacks
Colin Cooper will take charge of the Maori All Blacks on their tour to North America in November.
The ex-Hurricanes coach will be assisted by former All Blacks Tabai Matson (backs) and Carl Hoeft (forwards) when the team face off against Canada and the USA Eagles.
Cooper, who turned out for the Maori All Blacks in the 80's, said that it was an honour for him to be chosen for the role.
"I am very proud of my Maori heritage, and I feel very privileged to be appointed to this job. The Maori All Blacks have always been a unique team that celebrates the best of Maori and rugby," he said.
"I am committed to ensuring that the Maori All Blacks offer the All Blacks selectors more choices about the talent that is coming through the ranks," he added.
New Zealand Maori Rugby Board chairman Wayne Peters is confident that Cooper is the right man for the job.
"He has a great coaching record. He is Taranaki's coach but his experience includes the Hurricanes from 2003-10, the New Zealand Colts in 2001 and the Junior All Blacks in 2005-09," explained Peters.
"As a former play, he well understands how important this team is for players who are wanting more opportunities to press for higher honour.
"Colin is joined by a very experienced coaching team in Matson and Hoeft who bring great experiences as former players at the highest level."
All Black Maori fixtures:
November 3: Canada in Toronto
November 9: USA Eagles in Philadelphia