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Te Pou promises heart and soul
21 April 2005 11:28am
The British & Irish Lions will face the strongest-ever New Zealand Maori team in Hamilton in June.
The closest New Zealand Maori got to a full-strength side was back in 2001 when they took on Australia in Sydney.
"This will be the strongest team on paper that I've ever had," Te Pou said.
"I've been involved with the team since 1994 and we've never had all our All Blacks available, although we are still close to a 90 per cent win record in that time.
"Our forward pack will have a lot of All Blacks with a lot of experience and we're going to need that.
"The Lions have a lot of experience in their pack - guys who have come through a World Cup campaign and are experienced in trench warfare," he told the Waikato Times.
Te Pou will announce his 24-man squad on May 22 and has already met with potential candidates for the June 11 showdown with Sir Clive Woodward's side.
The Maori team will warm up for the Lions game by playing Fiji in Suva on Friday, June 3.
The Lions kick off their tour the following day with a match against Bay of Plenty in Rotorua.
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